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A Japanese print of a branch with small red blossoms in the foreground against a large full moon. A Japanese print of a branch with small red blossoms in the foreground against a large full moon.

Special Event: Lunar New Year Celebration

Special Event


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  • Free with museum admission, no registration required

HAPPY NEW YEAR 新年快乐 SELAMAT TAHUN BARU あけまし ておめでとうございます 새해 복 많이 받으세요 NYOB ZOO XYOO TSHIAB สวัสดีปีใหม่ CHÚC MỪNG NĂM MỚI LO SAR BZANG រីករាយឆ​ ្នាំថ​ ្មី​

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with art-making activities, games, performances, an artist demonstration, and gallery talks in English, and also available in Mandarin. At 5:00 head to Millennium Park for a special lantern procession, and continue the celebration at Maggie Daley Park.

All activities are free with museum admission and for all ages unless otherwise noted.  

Paper Cutting Demonstration
Griffin Court
1:00, 2:00, 3:00, and 4:00 (30 minutes each)
Watch artist Lucy P. Liu create traditional Chinese paper cuttings (jiǎn zhǐ) to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

Gallery Talks 
Meet in Gallery 100 
1:00–4:00, every 30 minutes (15 minutes each)
Maximum group size: 20
Adults and children ages 12 and up
Hear short talks in the Asian galleries exploring trade routes, Korean moon jars, the Phoenix panels, and 18th-century Japanese calendar prints known as egoyomi.

Play Weiqi (Go, baduk
Alsdorf Galleries
Drop in 1:00–4:30 
Enjoy a strategy board game invented in China over 2,500 years ago and played by more than 20 million people in Japan, Korea, and many other places.

Play Xiangqi (Chinese Chess, cờ tướng)
Gallery 144
Drop in 1:00–4:30
Play a board game popular in China and Vietnam, and similar to strategy games like western chess, Chaturanga or Indian chess, Shogi, and Janggi

Paper Lanterns
Outside the Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room
Drop in 1:00–4:30
Create a paper lantern using seasonal designs. Pick up a wooden handle in the Modern Wing lobby to carry your lantern as you leave the museum for the lantern procession.

The Great Zodiac Animal Race
Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room
1:30 and 3:00 (20 minutes)
Chicago Puppet Studio retells the classic Lunar New Year zodiac tale with shadow puppet animals inspired by Asian languages and pictograms and live music by Tatsu Aoki.

Percussion Performance
Griffin Court
2:30 and 3:30 (20 minutes each)
Kioto Aoki plays the tsuzumi, a small Japanese hand drum, and two large drums used in taiko ensembles. 

Please note that the artwork on this page may not be featured during the gallery talk.

Persons with disabilities who would like to request an accessibility accommodation for an Art Institute program are encouraged to send an email to two weeks in advance of the program. 


The Chicago Park District generously supports all activities at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Support for public programs is provided in part by the Woman’s Board of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Special thanks to the Chinese Fine Arts Society.


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