1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013
The Snake sign symbolizes character traits such as confidence, wisdom and kindness. Enigmatic and cerebral, snakes are born charmers. They are successful, passionate and funny yet can also be secretive, egotistical and possessive.
— from The Chinese Zodiac
PHILADELPHIA, PA—Join the nearly one-sixth of the world's population that celebrates Chinese New Year and ring in (or slither into) the Year of the Snake! Penn Museum celebrates the most important Chinese holiday of the year with our 32nd annual Chinese New Year Celebration on Saturday, February 2, 2013, from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. It's a day filled with music and dance performances, martial arts demonstrations, Feng Shui and folk tale presentations, children's activities—and the grand finale lion dance. The festivities are free with Museum admission donation ($12 general admission; $10 senior citizens [65+] and military personnel; $8 students [with ID] and children [6 to 17]; free for children under 6, members, and PennCard holders).
The day's events are rich with the sights, sounds, and wonder of Chinese cultural, musical, and dance traditions. Legendary Chinese folk tales come to life as 4- to 14-year-old girls of the MeiMei Dance Troupe entertain with a patchwork of traditional dances at 11:00 am. Qin Qian and Kurt Jung introduce visitors to the musical spirit of the New Year, performing on traditional instruments and discussing the history of Chinese music, at 11:30 am and 2:30 pm.
The passing on of moral lessons through generations in Chinese culture has long taken the form of telling fables (similar to Aesop's fables). Penn student organization Teaching Chinese @ Penn gives a bilingual presentation of Chinese fables at 1:30 pm. The Greater Philadelphia Minghui School presents dance arrangements showcasing the ethnic diversity of Chinese dance at 2:00 pm.
At 3:45 pm, visitors are treated to the theatrics and high energy of the Grand Finale Lion Dance. The lion dance was created in China centuries ago and lion dancers and drummers from Cheung's Academy use sharp footwork and strong movements to jump and dart like powerful lions during a vigorous drum performance. They wind their way from the inside of the Museum's Harrison Auditorium, and out the main entrance to the Warden Garden (weather permitting) to chase away evil and usher in a year of good luck.
In addition to the many performances, there are opportunities to learn about martial and other arts steeped in tradition, and a varied lineup of presentations and drop-in workshops ongoing throughout the day.
Visitors will learn about enhancing good chi and how it interacts with its surroundings with Feng Shui consultant Janice Schneider of Feng Shui Studios. Ms. Schneider gives an introductory talk about creating harmony and balance in the home and its positive effects on overall well being, at 11:00 am.
Guests can witness and experience traditional Chinese martial arts styles—from the slow-moving techniques of Tai Chi to the explosive power of Kung Fu fighting. At 2:00 pm, visitors discover how Tai Chi can help conquer today's modern anxieties through a demonstration and a workshop with Master John Chen, of the Ba'Z Tai Chi & Kung Fu Studio. Then at 3:15 pm, Cheung's Hung Gar Kung Fu Academy offer an adrenaline-charged Kung Fu demonstration in the Harrison Auditorium.
A presentation on Chinese culture and the Shen Yun Performing Arts mission to exemplify traditional Chinese dance takes place at 12 pm. At 1:00 pm, attendees can join Falun Gong practitioners for mindful exercise and related holistic teachings.
Onlei Annie Jung, a calligraphy and Chinese painting instructor, teaches visitors basic brush strokes for writing Chinese Characters and painting at a drop-in workshop held from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. She holds a workshop on the tangram, an ancient Chinese puzzle game, from 2:00 to 3:30 pm.
Activities for children and families abound in the Museum's Chinese Rotunda at the Chinese Art Marketplace, from 11:00 am to 3:30 pm. Families can create a Year of the Snake craft and visitors can experience demonstrations by area artists and learn more about Chinese New Year traditions. The Museum's Chinese Collection, housed in the Rotunda, offers attendees a look at the artistic achievements of the Chinese with artifacts including a famous crystal ball, paintings on silk, jade, and coral figurines, bronze vessels, stone sculptures, glazed pottery, and more.
The Museum's two shops, the Museum Shop and the Pyramid Shop for Children, offer special Chinese arts, crafts, games, and books. The Pepper Mill Café features Chinese lunch entrées and kid-friendly foods.
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is dedicated to the study and understanding of human history and diversity. Founded in 1887, the Museum has sent more than 400 archaeological and anthropological expeditions to all the inhabited continents of the world. With an active exhibition schedule and educational programming for children and adults, the Museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind's collective heritage.
Penn Museum is located at 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (on Penn's campus, across from Franklin Field). Public transportation to the Museum is available via SEPTA's Regional Rail Line at University City Station; the Market-Frankford Subway Line at 34th Street Station; trolley routes 11, 13, 34 and 36; and bus routes 12, 21, 30, 40 and 42. Museum hours are Tuesday and Thursday through Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Wednesday, 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, with P.M. @ PENN MUSEUM evening programs offered weekly. Closed Mondays and holidays. Admission donation is $12 for adults; $10 for senior citizens (65 and above) and military personnel; $8 children (6 to 17) and full-time students with ID; free to Members, PennCard holders, and children 5 and younger; "pay-what-you-want" the last hour before closing. Hot and cold meals and light refreshments are available to visitors with or without Museum admission in The Pepper Mill Café; the Museum Shop and Pyramid Shop for Children offer a wide selection of gifts, books, games, clothing, and jewelry. Penn Museum can be found on the web at www.penn.museum. For general information call 215.898.4000. For group tour information call 215.746.8183.
CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATION 2013 SCHEDULE
11:00-12:30 – Calligraphy Drop-in Workshop
11:00-11:30 – MeiMei Dance Performance
11:00-11:30 – Feng Shui Lecture
11:30-11:45 – Chinese Music Demonstration
12:00-12:30 – Chinese Culture Presentation
1:00-1:30 – Falun Gong Presentation
1:30-2:00 – Presentation of Chinese Fables
2:00-2:30 – Ba'z Tai Chi Demo & Workshop
2:00-2:15 – Greater Philadelphia Minghui School Dance Performance
2:30-2:45 – Chinese Music Demonstration
3:15-4:00 – Kung Fu Demonstration and Lion Dance Finale
All Day Events, 11:00-3:30
Year of the Snake Craft
Pepper Mill Café
Special Chinese New Year Café Menu
Photos (top and bottom): Penn Museum's annual Chinese New Year Celebration, on Saturday, February 2 from 11 am to 4 pm, concludes with the lion dance grand finale performed by Cheng Hung Gar Kung Fu Academy; The MeiMei Dance Troupe performs a diverse repertoire of Chinese dance classics during the Museum's Chinese New Year Celebration, on Feb. 2; Cheng Hung Gar Kung Fu Academy martial artists give an exhilarating performance during the Museum's annual Chinese New Year Celebration on Feb. 2; A young visitor created a Chinese-inspired craft at last year's annual Chinese New Year Celebration, at the Penn Museum. Photos: Penn Museum