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Massachusetts celebrates the Lunar New Year each February, and for good reason. There are over 350,000 Asian-American residents in the Bay State, representing about 5% of the population.
Often referred to as Chinese New Year, the Vietnamese community calls its Lunar New Year celebration Tết, while South Koreans call theirs Wondan. In 2016, Lunar New Year features a variety of activities throughout the state. Here are some highlights.
MFA’s Lunar New Year Celebration
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
10 am – 4 pm / Free
Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese traditions are presented throughout the day at the MFA, with vibrant Asian floral arrangements throughout the museum and an Asian-inspired lunch at the Garden Cafeteria. Among the events: The Art of Tết: Vietnamese Lunar New Year; Mandarin Highlight Tour, featuring masterpieces from MFA’s Asian art collections; Monkey Puppets and Chinese Hand Drums; Gong-Fun demonstrations; and the Korean art tradition of Bok Jumoni.
Chinese New Year Shopping
Wrentham Village Premium Outlets, Wrentham
A tradition Lion Dance performance takes place at the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets, part of a month long special sale for Chinese visitors. In addition, check out the Chinese Wish Tree display in the food court
Chinese Melodies: an Afternoon Concert
Bowker Auditorium, University of Massachusetts/Amherst
Minqi Wang, a graduate student at UMass Amherst and her guest musicians present a delightful concert of familiar and scintillating new Chinese melodies showcasing traditional instruments.
Chinese New Year Celebration
Campus Center, University of Massachusetts/ Boston
5 – 6:30 pm
The Confucius Institute hosts this annual celebration for students and Asian visitors with cultural performances and Chinese food.
Berklee’s Lunar New Year Concert
Berklee Performance Center, Boston
Berklee College of Music celebrates the spring festival for Asian students each year. Players from China, Korea, Japan and Indonesia perform various styles of music, including jazz, R&B and traditional Chinese music.
PEM’s Lunar New Year Celebration
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem
10 am to 4 pm/ Free
Activities include lantern making, lion dance performances, traditional Chinese music, and display of the Yin Yu Tang, PEM’s Chinese house that sheltered one family in the Huizhou region of China for more than 200 years.
Chinatown Main Street Cultural Village
Noon – 3pm / Free
Chinatown’s Cultural Village activities take place at the China Trade Building at the corner of Boylston and Washington Streets, plus a parade on Beach Street.
Vietnamese Lunar Year Celebration 2016
11 am – 2:30 pm / Free
VietAID celebrates its annual Lunar New Year (Tết), considered the biggest and most important festival for the Vietnamese people. This year’s celebration includes traditional ceremonies, entertainment, children’s games and food and drink.
Chinese New Year Celebration
Villa Victoria Center for the Arts
South End, Boston
4:30 – 6:30 pm/ $7
The Chinese Folk Art Workshop presents a performance of dance that captures Chinese mythology of the dragon and the phoenix, water and fire, and yin and yang.
Cambridge’s Chinese New Year in Harvard Square
Hong Kong Restaurant, celebrating its 61st anniversary in Harvard Square, is holding a cultural procession followed by an open house to celebrate Lunar New Year.
Governor Baker confers a citation in recognition of Chinese Lunar New Year.
For information about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.