Never failing to mark the importance of international culture, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art hosted a Chinese New Year’s Celebration on January 28th. The event, lasting six hours, giving way to Kansas City’s best performers and representatives of Chinese culture.
Utilizing the museum’s expansive grounds, dance troupes, traditional Chinese clothing, Chinese art exhibits, specialized cuisine and activities for all ages were available throughout.
The featured exhibitions varied throughout the museum, a majority of which were available free of charge to the public.
Hundreds gathered in the Nelson’s lobby to watch dragon-costumed men and the delicate dances produced by the female troupes. Some attendees and performers relaxed into their first Chinese New Year, while others have been life-long participants.
Cathrine Liang, member of the Chinese Classical Arts Qipaso Association, has been celebrating the New Year with the company for years.
“We are so happy because every year we have new girls joining in this performance,” Liang said. “And we also get to share with everyone here, especially in America, for you to know the Chinese culture—how we dress, our history.”
The Chinese New Year, known as the Spring Festival, begins on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month in the Chinese calendar, and ends 15 days into the new lunar cycle. In this way, the Spring Festival is seen as an opening to a brighter path.
“So, it means a new opening, a new happening for us. Everyone just celebrates it like we wave our past year [goodbye], and just leave everything bad, sad in the past year,” Liang explains. “But in the new coming year, we hope that we’ll have a happy, peaceful and joyful year.”
Whether they found a fresh beginning or greater understanding of the culture, all in attendance left with memories and a new year ahead of them.