Events

Celebrate Chinese New Year 2020 with These Boston Events

Ring in the Year of the Rat with these seven festive events around town, including a DIY bubble tea workshop, cultural art exhibits, and lion dances.


MFA photo Courtesy of Helene Norton-Russell

Lunar New Year Celebration at the Museum of Fine Arts

What better way to ring in the Year of the Rat than with free admission to the Museum of Fine Arts? Enjoy the day’s events, which span from an interactive Kung Fu demonstration to a traditional Chinese lion dance. The museum will also offer walking tours of the Art of Asia galleries throughout the day.

Free, Saturday, February 1, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, mfa.org.

Lunar New Year Celebration at McMullen Museum of Art

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate the Chinese New Year without fighting the crowds downtown, spend the afternoon with students from Boston College, who have prepared their own lion dance. In addition to watching the performance put on by members of the school’s cultural clubs, you can also sample traditional New Year’s cuisine from different countries and get crafty making decorations. While you’re there, take advantage of your time on campus and peruse the current exhibits on display at the museum.

Free, Saturday, February 1, 12 p.m.-4 p.m., 2101 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, bc.edu.

Boston Children’s Museum photo by Steve Schroth

Celebrate Lunar New Year at Boston Children’s Museum

At the Children’s Museum’s interactive three-day happening, explore cultural traditions by playing games, admiring art, and dancing away. Artists from the area will be leading performances and other activities to demonstrate different ways to honor the holiday, with events centering around Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese cultures.

Free with museum admission, Friday, January 31, 6:30-8 p.m., Saturday, February 1, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday, February 2, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 308 Congress St., Boston, bostonchildrensmuseum.org.

Bamboo Center X Lunar New Year

Join the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center for an afternoon of cooking and crafting, where you can learn how to make homemade dumplings, DIY bubble tea, and paper lanterns. Visitors can even snap pictures of themselves in the Lunar New Year photo booth, all while benefiting the BCNC Youth Center.

$10, Saturday, February 1, 2 p.m.-5 p.m., 99 Albany St., Boston, bcnc.net.

2016 Chinatown New Year Parade photo by Matthew Dailey via Flickr/Creative Commons

Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown

Head to Chinatown to enjoy energetic dancers, bursting firecrackers, and red lanterns symbolizing prosperity filling the streets as the annual parade marches through the neighborhood. Gaze at puppeteers maneuvering large, vibrantly colored lion costumes during the lion dances, which will take place in multiple locations, stopping at local businesses to spread good fortune. Afterwards, check out the Chinese New Year Cultural Village in the China Trade Center for other festivities, including additional performances and scrumptious Chinese snacks.

Free, Sunday, February 2, 11 a.m., Chinatown, Boston, boston-discovery-guide.com.

Lunar New Year Celebrations at the Boston Public Library

Head over to West Roxbury to enjoy partake in a day of festivities, which include a potluck social, a Chinese art exhibit, and Hong Bao, or lucky red envelopes, for children. If you’re looking for more to do, on Tuesday night, Dorchester’s Field’s Corner branch of the BPL will immerse visitors of all ages in a celebration of the Vietnamese New Year, Tết, through melodies, dance, and delicacies.

West Roxbury: Free, Saturday, January 25, 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., 1961 Centre St., West Roxbury, bpl.bibliocommons.com.
Fields Corner: Free, Tuesday, January 28, 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m., 1520 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester, bpl.bibliocommons.com.

Photo courtesy of John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Lion Dance Show at John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Feast your eyes on a traditional lion dance as the Celebrate! series aims to use art to highlight the United States’ ample cultural diversity. The family-friendly show will depict how the animal’s positive energy is harnessed and used to steer away unfortunate spirits in this vibrant and symbolic dance. Keep in mind that although the event is included in the $14 admission fee, registration is required ahead of time.

Free with museum admission, Saturday, January 25, 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m., Columbia Point, Boston, jfklibrary.org.