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Asian Art Exhibits, Music and Dance, Parades and Community Events
The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) has compiled a selection of events, ranging from music concerts and dance performances to museum exhibits and community parades.
“There are over 350,000 Asian-American residents in the Bay State, representing 5% of the population,” said Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of Business Development and Interim Director of MOTT. “Lunar New Year showcases the pride and rich traditions of these communities, while inviting other residents and visitors to learn about Asian culture as well.”
In 2016, Lunar New Year begins on February 8 and is designated as the Year of the Monkey, the ninth of twelve Chinese zodiac; those born under this sign are said to be curious, mischievous and clever. Often referred to as Chinese New Year, the Vietnamese call their Lunar New Year celebration Tết, while South Koreans call theirs Wondan.
Massachusetts has strong connections to Asia. In 2014, 173,000 Chinese tourists visited the Bay State, thanks to direct flights between Boston and Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo. There are 27,000 Asian small business in Massachusetts, and 13,000+ Chinese students attending colleges and universities here.
Massachusetts attracts 22.9 million domestic, 735,000 Canadian and 1.5 million overseas visitors each year, according to MOTT. For more information on visiting Massachusetts, go to massvacation.com.
2016 Lunar New Year Celebrations in Massachusetts
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.
For information about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.