PEM’s popular Lunar New Year celebration returns

Full day of FREE activities Saturday, February 28

SALEM, MA — The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) presents one of its most popular annual festivals. The Chinese Lunar New Year celebration returns on Saturday, February 28. A full day of festivities include traditional lion dances, music and drumming and art making.

Explore Yin Yu Tang, a Chinese house that sheltered one family in the Huizhou region of China for more than 200 years and the exhibition Double Happiness: Celebration in Chinese Art. With more than 30 highlights from the museum's wide-ranging Chinese collection spanning 3,000 years, this exhibition celebrates China's artistic achievements crystallized in seasonal festivals, religious ceremonies and celebrations. Discover plants and animals, myths and symbols and decipher the Chinese character for "Double Happiness."

The Chinese Lunar New Year is a 15-day celebration marking the start of the new year. Each year coincides with one of 12 zodiac animals and this year’s animal is the goat. People born in a goat year are believed to be calm, smart, creative and dependable.

Saturday, February 28 | 10 am-4 pm | All programs FREE with museum admission

For reservations, please call 978-745-9500, ext. 3011

10 am - 4 pm | DROP-IN ART ACTIVITY | Studio 1, Create Space
Lucky Lanterns
The Lunar New Year celebration in China ends with the Lantern Festival. Design your own with local artist, author and illustrator Jennifer DeCristoforo. She was inspired to develop the Lucky Bamboo Book of Crafts to share a connection with her adopted Chinese daughter’s native culture.

11 - 11:45 am | PERFORMANCES | Atrium
Gund Kwok: Lion Dance
Kick off PEM’s Lunar New Year celebration with a lion dance performance by Gund Kwok, the only all-women lion dance group in the country. The Gund Kwok Lion Cubs, a group of 6- to 9-year-olds who have mastered the lion dance skills, get the festivities started.  

Noon and 2 pm | Chinese Dulcimer Guzheng Youth Band | Morse Auditorium
Join us for two 40-minute performances by young musicians who have mastered ancient Chinese string instruments. A nonprofit organization founded in 2007, the band promotes Chinese instrumental music and culture in the United States and seeks to improve children's appreciation of Chinese music.

Noon - 12:30 pm and 2 - 2:30 pm  | INTERACTIVE PERFORMANCES | East India Marine Hall
Ribbon Dance
Watch professional dancer Liwen Wang demonstrate the art of ribbon dancing. Then join the fun and learn some moves as she invites audience members to take part in a short ribbon dance. 

12:30 - 1 pm and 2:30 - 3 pm  | INTERACTIVE PERFORMANCES | East India Marine Hall
Boston Synchrony Chinese Percussion Ensemble 
Learn more about Chinese percussion from musician, teacher and conductor Chi-Sun Chan. Then have a go on the gongs, cymbals and drums.

1-3 pm | GALLERY SPOT | Level 2 Gallery
Up Close with Silk

Drop by the exhibition Fish, Silk, Tea, Bamboo: Cultivating an Image of China to meet a museum educator and explore this elegant material.

1-1:45 pm | Chinese Folk Art Workshop | Atrium
Members of The Chinese Folk Art Workshop, all between the ages of 12 and 18, perform traditional Chinese dances. Also see another lion dance, drumming and the diabolo (a traditional Chinese yo-yoin action.

1-3 pm | ART CART | Ground Level Gallery
Double Happiness: Celebration in Chinese Art
Drop by and get hands on in the galleries! Explore more with our interactive Art Cart. Touch objects, experiment with art-making techniques and discover stories about the art around you.

3 pm | FILM | Morse Auditorium
Little Shaolin Monks (2007, 45 minutes, in Chinese with English subtitles)
Recommended for ages 10 and up | Seats are first-come, first-served

Peek into the mysterious world of these 6- to 9-year-olds who live in the Shaolin Temple and practice the highest form of martial arts.


Learn the steps of a traditional Chinese ribbon dance. Photo by Walter Silver/PEM.


This program is made possible by the Lowell Institute.

The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) is one of the oldest and fastest growing museums in North America. At its heart is a mission to enrich and transform people's lives by broadening their perspectives, attitudes and knowledge of themselves and the wider world. PEM celebrates outstanding artistic and cultural creativity through exhibitions, programming and special events that emphasize cross-cultural connections, integrate past and present and underscore the vital importance of creative expression. Founded in 1799, the museum's collection is among the finest of its kind, boasting superlative works from around the globe and across time -- including American art and architecture, Asian export art, photography, maritime art and history, as well as Native American, Oceanic and African art. PEM's campus affords a varied and unique visitor experience with hands-on creativity zones, interactive opportunities, performance spaces and historic properties, including Yin Yu Tang: A Chinese House, a 200-year-old house that is the only example of Chinese domestic architecture on display in the United States. HOURS: Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am5 pm and the third Thursday of every month until 9 pm. Closed Mondays (except holidays), Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. ADMISSION: Adults $18; seniors $15; students $10. Additional admission to Yin Yu Tang: $5. Members, youth 16 and under and residents of Salem enjoy free general admission and free admission to Yin Yu Tang. INFO: Call 866‐745‐1876 or visit