Celebrate Chinese New Year 2016 at These Boston Events

Ring in the Year of the Monkey at a series of fun events around the city.

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Photo via col / Shutterstock.com

Monday, February 8, is officially Chinese New Year, but there are plenty of festivities happening this weekend and next. Celebrate the Year of the Monkey all around Boston with parades, free food, and even some monkeys themselves.

Franklin Park Zoo

What better way to celebrate the Year of the Monkey than with some actual monkeys? Head to the Franklin Park Zoo for special performances and zookeeper encounters, with a Hung Gar Kung Fu and Lion Dance performance by the Chiu Mo Kwoon school, festive decorations in the Tropical Forest, and zookeeper encounters at the cotton-top tamarin exhibit.

Saturday, February 6, 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., franklinparkzoo.org.


Photo provided by MFA

Open House at the MFA

Enjoy free admission for all at the MFA this Saturday! Explore the many galleries on display, including Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese traditions, as well as a series of special activities, demonstrations, and performances throughout the day. Fittingly, the MFA’s newest display features art from the Song dynasty (960-1279), a high point of Chinese art and aesthetics, so be sure to give it a visit.

Saturday, February 6, 10 a.m.-4:45 p.m., mfa.org.

Chinese New Year Open House at A Friendly Inn at Harvard

Free celebrations are the best kind of celebration. A Friendly Inn at Harvard is hosting an open house for Chinese New Year, when attendees can enjoy Chinese vegetarian finger food, green tea, and wine. What’s not to like about a place that has Friendly in the name?

Monday, February 8, 5-7 p.m., harvardsquare.com.

Lunar New Year Concert at Berklee

Since 2012, the Chinese Student and Scholar Association has held an annual concert to celebrate the Spring Festival. Several Asian countries will be represented, with players from China, Korea, Japan, and Indonesia, and the styles of music will range from pop, rock, and jazz, to R&B and traditional Chinese music. Berks, Skybridge, Sun Beatz, and Jiayun Yu will be among the featured musicians.

Tuesday, February 9, 8 p.m., berklee.edu.


Photo provided by PEM

Peabody Essex Museum in Salem

At the Peabody Essex, ring in the new year at their annual Lunar New Year Festival. Enjoy lion dances and traditional Chinese music, design your own lantern, watch a special documentary about Shaolin, one of the oldest styles of Chinese martial arts, and visit the Yin Yu Tang, PEM’s Chinese house that sheltered one Huizhou region-based family for more than 200 years.

Saturday, February 13, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., pem.org.

Chinese New Year at the Boston Public Library

Several locations of the Boston Public Library will offer up Chinese New Year celebrations, with both a holiday program sponsored by the West Roxbury Chinese Culture Society and a musical celebration at the Central Library location, designed to introduce Chinese music through different instruments. Also at the Central location, the Boston Chinese Music Association will present the Family Chinese Concert—kick off the new year with song!

West Roxbury: Saturday, February 13, 10:30 a.m., bpl.org.
Central: Sunday, February 28, 2:30 p.m., bpl.org.

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Photo via Shutterstock

Lion Dance Parade in Chinatown

Chinatown is the place to be for experiencing all the festivities Chinese New Year has to offer. The Year of the Monkey is sure to start off strong with a parade, bright costumes, martial artists, and music, as well as fun activities at the Chinatown Main Street Cultural Village Center like calligraphy, origami, and dough characters.

Sunday, February 14, 11 a.m., boston-discovery-guide.com.

Chinese New Year at Boston Children’s Museum

Experience hands-on Chinese New Year activities fit for all ages at the Children’s Museum. You can join in on a tai chi demonstration and a dragon dance, make a Chinese shadow puppet or lantern, and fold a hong bao, or red envelope, for good fortune in the new year.

Sunday, February 21, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., bostonchildrensmuseum.org.

Chinese New Year in Harvard Square

Harvard Square is joining in on the fun in conjunction with the Hong Kong restaurant, which is celebrating its 61st anniversary. Enjoy both a procession in the square and a cultural open house at the restaurant.

Sunday, February 28, full schedule TBD, harvardsquare.com.