The Met plans Lunar New Year Festival on Feb. 1

The Met will mark the Year of the Rat with performances, interactive gallery activities. and artist-led workshops. Image courtesy of the Met

NEW YORK – The Metropolitan Museum of Art will host its annual Lunar New Year Festival on Saturday, Feb. 1, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lunar New Year Festival: Year of the Rat will feature dozens of engaging programs – for visitors of all ages – that reflect traditions from across Asia.

Highlights include Sesame Street Puppeteers Featuring Alan Muraoka along with artist-led workshops and interactive gallery activities like a Hand-Pulled Noodle Demonstration. All Lunar New Year Festival programming is free with museum admission.

The event is made possible in part by the E.H.A. Foundation and Tiger Baron Foundation. It is presented by the Museum’s Advisory Committee on Cultural Engagement and Education Department.

Visitors will be welcomed in the Great Hall with the vibrant and beloved opening parade by the Chinese Center on Long Island Lion Troupe. The Sesame Street Puppeteers featuring Alan Muraoka will perform sing-a-longs that explore the traditions of Lunar New Year, followed by a fun photo-op with Sesame Street characters. Throughout the afternoon, there will also be a variety of performances by the New York Chinese Cultural Center dancers, the Chinese Center on Long Island Lion Troupe, and drummers from the New York Korean Performing Arts Center. Tickets for each event will be distributed 15 minutes prior at the Grace Rainey Rodgers Auditorium.

In Gallery 217, the Astor Court, Vincent Chong, a Chinese American artist, will explore art and identity using gold calligraphy and festive fans through 15-minute performances presented every 45 minutes.

Several artist-led workshops will be offered as part of Lunar New Year Festival: Year of the Rat. Zodiac Zones, for example, will invite guests to discover and learn about their zodiac signs and proudly wear their zodiac animal button. Visitors of all ages can try their hand at different creative workshops – from creating a movable dragon toy that brings good luck in Fierce Dragon Creations to expressing themselves with calligraphy under the guidance of master Chinese calligrapher Zhou Bin from iCanMandarin and designing a pellet drum in Den-den Daiko Drum Making and more. Families can celebrate and learn through food in a wu-wo tea ceremony and bubble tea gathering with Ten Ren Tea and Ginseng Co. and a hand-pulled noodle demonstration. All are welcome to join artist and educator Emily Mock in Festive Feast, where participants can add to the communal paper feast installation for the kitchen gods.

The Met is presenting “Celebrating the Year of the Rat” through July 19, in the Charlotte C. Weber Galleries for the Arts of Ancient China. The exhibition features remarkable works from the Met collection that illustrate the rat’s ubiquitous presence in people’s daily lives as an active, agile and smart creature.

A full list of festival programming, along with further details and a schedule of events, is available on The Met website.