Chinese New Year Family Fun in Marin and the Bay Area
San Francisco Symphony celebrates the Year of the Ox with a virtual Chinese New Year Celebration.
This month, the Year of the Rat comes to an end and the Year of the Ox begins! Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, starts on Friday, February 12. Like many holiday events, most local Chinese New Year celebrations have been moved online as virtual experiences. Here are a fun family Chinese New Year events not to miss in the Bay Area and across the country.
- Virtual Lunar New Year Storytelling and Art
Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
Thursday, January 28, 6–7 pm
Welcome the Year of the Ox with stories of animals and beasts and close looking at artworks from the museum collection. Hear how the rat became the first symbol of the zodiac and learn about the ox in Asian art with the museum’s talented storytellers and docents. Gather the whole family for this fun and festive virtual program to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Recommended for ages 10 and up, but all are welcome. Free, but donations welcome. Register here.
- Online Lunar New Year Puppet Show: Mae Lin and the Magic Brush
Chinese Chamber of Commerce of San Francisco
Saturday, January 30, 10–11 am
Gung Hay Fat Choy! Celebrate Lunar New Year with Mae Lin and the Magic Brush virtual puppet show. Based loosely on an old Chinese tale, this is the story of a young girl who is given a magic brush that can make anything she paints come to life! The show features a traditional dragon dance, authentic Chinese provincial music, and lots of surprises. For All Ages. Registration will end on Saturday, January 30 at 8 am PST. Participants who have registered will be given access credentials on January 30 by 9 am PST. Free. Register here.
- Year of the Ox on Parade
February 4–March 14
The Chinese Chamber of Commerce of San Francisco is excited to debut "The Year of the Ox on Parade." A tradition in the making, 11 life-sized oxen will be publicly displayed across San Francisco to help ring in the new Year of the Ox. Each ox was designed by a local artist to reflect upon the Chinese culture, people, and traditions. More info.
- Lunar New Year Poetry and Calligraphy with Poets Michael Warr, Chun Yu, and Calligrapher Aiqin Zhou
Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
Thursday, February 4, 7–8 pm
Poets Michael Warr and Chun Yu read works in English and Chinese (Mandarin) that reflect the essence of the New Year — vanquishing the past, embracing new beginnings, and venerating ancestors — while Aiqin Zhou demonstrates her skillful calligraphy by illustrating some of the poems. Free, but donations appreciated. Register here.
- Virtual Lunar New Year Lantern Workshop w/ Margaret Jarrett-Eshia
Youth Art Exchange
Wednesday, February 10, 5–6:30 pm
We are going to create fabulous Lunar New Year Lanterns. Part of the fun of this project is to treasure hunt your supplies from around your house. You'll need a glass or plastic container. Look for any kind of colorful paper, like junk mail, giftwrap, magazines, envelopes, clean food wrappers, cereal boxes and napkins. Traditional lunar new year colors are red, yellow, gold, black and white with other colors sprinkled in. The project is open to your imagination! Free. Register here.
- Virtual STEAM Workshop: Lunar New Year
Thursday, February 11, 12:30–1:30 pm
Join us for a special Lunar New Year celebration! For the Year of the Ox, learn the foundation of sculpture! A sculpture is a 3D work of art and traditionally made from clay, wax, stone, or metal. To celebrate this, participants will create ox sculptures using a bar of soap! We will apply some traditional sculpture techniques to make creative works of art. Ages 7 and above, Families welcome. Free. Register here.
- Virtual Storytime: Mulan’s Lunar New Year with Author Natasha Yim
The Walt Disney Family Museum
Saturday, February 13, 11 am
We invite you and your family to celebrate Lunar New Year with a Virtual (Zoom) Storytime of Mulan’s Lunar New Year with Author Natasha Yim. In this special presentation, learn about Mulan’s family traditions and the history behind the festive annual celebration. Free. Limited spaces. Sign-up required.
- Lunar New Year Virtual Celebration
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Saturday, February 13, 7 am
Ring in the Year of the Ox! Celebrate the Lunar New Year online with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Chinese Cultural Institute, and the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States of America. Enjoy streamed video performances and demonstrations of traditional Chinese crafts and Lunar New Year traditions. Visit our SAAM Family Zone online for crafts, coloring pages, videos and other activities. Free. Register here.
- Virtual Lunar New Year Festival: Year of the Ox
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Saturday, February 13, 10 am–10 pm
May art bring you good fortune! Celebrate the Year of the Ox, one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, with virtual performances, lion dancers, interactive activities, and artist-led workshops for all ages. More info.
- Year of the Ox Storytelling Program with Oliver Chin
Chinese Historical Society of America
Thursday, February 18, 3–4 pm
Join CHSA and author Oliver Chin for a children's program focusing on Chinese New Year. Participants will hear a reading of The Year of the Ox: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac, written by Oliver Chin and illustrated by Jeremiah Alcorn. This popular annual children’s book series features the twelve charming animals that embody the Chinese New Year. This program is recommended for elementary-aged children, but all are welcome to join! Free; $10 suggested donation. Register here.
- San Francisco Symphony Chinese New Year Virtual Celebration
Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco
Saturday, February 20, 4 pm
The San Francisco Symphony presents the Chinese New Year Virtual Celebration: Year of the Ox—the Symphony’s annual celebration of the Lunar New Year, now in its twenty-first season and, for the first time, in a virtual format. The event is an elegant and colorful celebration that draws upon vibrant Asian traditions, past and present, and features a program of traditional folk music and works by Asian composers. The concert program will be available for free streaming on SFSymphony+ via sfsymphonyplus.org and broadcast on NBC Bay Area at 4pm on February 20; it will rebroadcast February 27 at 4pm on NBC Bay Area and KTSF 26 on February 21 & 27 at 3:30pm. More info.
- Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade Special
KTVU Fox 2 and KTSF 26
Saturday, February 20, 6 pm
The annual Southwest Airlines Chinese Parade in downtown San Francisco has been canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, tune in to a Chinese New Year Parade TV special on KTVU Channel 2 or KTSF Channel 26. More info.
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