Celebrate the Lunar New Year a bit early this weekend at the Penn Museum

Penn Museum

Get ready Philly, it’s time to celebrate the Lunar New Year a bit early this weekend at the Penn Museum. 


The Lunar New Year is also called (by some) the Chinese New Year, although to others the two hold different meanings: According to history.com, the Chinese New Year is based on the Chinese lunar calendar, and the lunar calendar is a calendar based on complete cycles of phases of the Moon. In the easiest of terms, the Chinese New Year marks the start of a new lunar year, so although there is some debate it’s not completely out of left field to correlate the two. 


Although the official celebration is not until January 25th, the Penn Museum will be getting Philadelphians into the spirit of things a little early this year with their colorful 39th annual CultureFest! presented in partnership with the Asian Arts Initiative. 


This extensive extravaganza will be celebrating the Year of the Rat, and promises fun for the whole family. People born in the Year of the Rat are said to be smart, talented, hot-tempered, jealous and possess a strong sense of self-awareness.


In honor of the new year, the Penn Museum will be hosting a plethora of interesting activities from 10 am to 5 pm this Saturday, January 18. 


Guests can make Year of the Rat masks, lanterns and lucky envelopes; visit the art and vendor market; watch a performance by the Little Mulan Dance Troupe from the Great Wall Chinese School; watch a Tai Chi demonstration; join in on a Chinese zodiac workshop; watch a variety musical performances; speak with on-duty conservators about their work; watch an interactive musical performance by Kyo Daiko; listen to a 15-minute talk on a Chinese artifact; attend a drop-in calligraphy workshop; watch a contemporary dance performance by Annielille Gavino; go on a Mandarin highlights tour; speak with on-duty conservators about their work; watch a martial arts demonstration by Cheung’s Hung Gar Kung Fu Academy; and lastly, but certainly not least, enjoy the lion dance finale. 


The release also states, as part of its ongoing Bulding Transformation project, the Penn Museum has just unveiled more than 10,000 square feet of reimagined spaces, including its new Sphinx Gallery; a suite of Africa Galleries; a Mexico and Central America Gallery; the historic Harrison Auditorium; and its stunning new Main Entrance, which guests can also check out while visiting this weekend.


For more information, visit penn.museum

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