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With January’s New Year’s celebrations behind us, Massachusetts residents and visitors are preparing to celebrate Lunar New Year this month. It’s a significant holiday for more than 350,000 Asian-Americans living in the Bay State, and for billions of Asians around the world.
Often referred to as Chinese New Year, the Vietnamese community calls its Lunar Year celebration Tết, while South Koreans call theirs Wondan. The celebration goes back over 2,000 years to the Eastern Han Dynasty, when ancient Chinese developed Chinese Zodiac Signs to mark the New Year, using a 12 year cycle of deliberately-chosen animals. 2018 is the Year of the Dog.
The centerpiece of the celebration is the lion dance – a traditional performance in Asian culture in which performers dressed in elaborate costumes mimic a lion’s movements to bring good luck and fortune for the coming year.
Here are a dozen Lunar New Year celebrations to enjoy across the Bay State!
MFA’s Lunar New Year Celebration
Museum of Fine Arts/Boston
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tet in Boston Lunar New Year Concert
IBEW Local 103/ Boston
Wellesley Chinese New Year Gala
Wellesley High School Auditorium/ Wellesley
5 – 6 p.m.
Quincy Lunar New Year Festival
North Quincy High School/ Quincy
12 – 5 p.m.
Andover Chinese New Year Celebration
Berklee Chinese New Year Concert
Berklee Performance Center/ Boston
PEM’s Lunar New Year Celebration
Peabody Essex Museum/ Salem
10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Tet in Boston Vietnamese New Year Celebration
Boston College High School/ Boston
10:30 am – 5 p.m.
Chinese New Year Celebration at UMass Boston
University of Massachusetts Boston/ Boston
3:30 – 6:30 p.m.
New Year Riddles Luncheon Party
Bamboo Bedford/ Bedford
11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Chinese New Year Parade & China Main Street Cultural Village
Parade: 5 – 6:30 p.m.
Cultural Village: 11 am – 5 p.m.
Chinese New Year Celebration at Harvard Square
Zoe Lin is studying for her M.S. in Mass Communication at Boston University and is an intern at the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism.
Feature image source: Lion Dance Costume