With Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve solidly behind us, it may seem like the holiday season has finally come to a close, but the festivities haven't ended quite yet. In fact, it's almost time to ring in another New Year - the Lunar New Year - which is one of the biggest celebrations in Asian culture. This year is all about welcoming the Year of the Fire Rooster, and Houston is gearing up to celebrate it big. So gather up the family and check out one - or more! - of these Lunar New Year events; it's going to be a cultural celebration you don't want to miss.
Lunar New Year WonderWeek + Lunar New Year Bash
When: WonderWeek runs from January 19 through February 1 during regular Museum hours with the Bash happening on January 21
Where: Children's Museum of Houston, 1500 Binz St.
Price: Free with general admission
What to expect: Celebrate the Lunar New Year during WonderWeek at the Children's Museum through their ongoing interactive activities that focus on Houston's Asian heritage. Kids are able to create dragon puppets, dragon fire lanterns, origami roosters, lunar viewfinders and calligraphy scrolls, as well as play a game of wolf survival. The official Lunar New Year Bash happens on January 21 and features an 11 a.m. performance by lion dancers and a traditional dance performance at 1:30 p.m. (both in Brown Auditorium). The Bash also has face painting, coloring, lei making, lantern decorating and origami creation.
Chinese New Year Celebration
When: January 21,10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: The Woodlands Children's Museum, 4775 West Panther Creek Drive, #280
Price: Free with paid admission (admission is $6 for adults and children 1+)
What to expect: The Chinese New Year Celebration at The Woodlands Children's Museum features arts, crafts, and games that highlight the traditions of Asia. Highlights include calligraphy, paper cutting, and dancing dragons, as well as performances by Chinese Folk Dancers, Traditional Lion Dancers and the Red Chinese Knots.
Photo courtesy of The Woodlands Children's Museum
Lunar New Year WonderWeek
When: WonderWeek runs from January 27 through February 2 during regular Discovery Center hours
Where: Fort Bend Children's Discovery Center, 198 Kempner St.
Price: Free with general admission
What to expect: Like its larger counterpart downtown, the Discovery Center is also hosting a Lunar New Year WonderWeek to highlight the diverse traditions of Asian culture. Kids can ring in the New Year by creating a Lunar phase model, dragon puppets, and dragon fire lanterns, calligraphy scrolls and Chinese character wall charms.
Lunar New Year Celebration
When: January 28, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: Audrey Jones Beck Building, 5601 Main St.
Price: Free with Museum admission
What to expect: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is kicking off a day of celebrating the Lunar New Year in conjunction with the Asia Society Texas Center's Family Day Lunar New Year Celebration. This family-friendly event is showcasing several different arts and crafts like decorating fortune cookies and practicing calligraphy, 30-minute exhibition tours of Emperor's Treasures, a concert by the North American Youth Chinese Orchestra and a finale of the Golden Dragon Lion Dance Group.
Family Day Lunar New Year Celebration
When: January 28, 1-4 p.m.
Where: The Education Center at Asia Society, 1370 Southmore Blvd.
What to expect: Come learn the art of paper cutting traditional Chinese patterns and designs, create red envelopes to be given as gifts during the New Year, design banners to celebrate the Rooster, and craft Kimono greeting cards at Asia Society's Family Day Lunar New Year Celebration, which is being done in conjunction with The Museum of Fine Arts Houston Lunar New Year Celebration. After these activities, enjoy a storytelling session about the 12 zodiac animals from 2-3 p.m. Additionally, the new exhibition Modern Twist: Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art is free of charge during the celebration and Huaxing Arts Group Houston is putting on a ticketed performance entitled Culture of China at 1:30 p.m. and 3: 30 p.m. This performance is free for members and $5 for non-members.
Photo courtesy of Asia Society Texas Center [photo by Jeff Fanitch]
2017 Lunar New Year Festival
When: January 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Chinese Community Center, 9800 Town Park Drive
What to expect: The 2017 Lunar New Year Festival features an Asian bazaar full of cultural activities, food, crafts, art and more that are all designed to help entertain and educate attendees about the Asian culture. With over 10,000 festival goers, this is a Lunar New Year celebration that's not to be missed!
Texas Lunar Festival
When: February 4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Southern News Group, 11122 Bellaire Blvd.
Price: $5 for adults; Free for children 12 and under
What to expect: Join thousands of people from all over Texas at the 21st annual Texas Lunar Festival for one of the biggest celebrations in Houston. Guests are treated to a variety of dancing, fireworks, and live music.
Lunar New Year Houston
When: February 4th & 5th from 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: Viet Hoa Center @ Beltway Plaza, 8388 W. Sam Houston Parkway South
What to expect: A long line of events span this two-day festival celebrating the Lunar New Year, punctuated by plenty of fireworks amongst Lions and Dragons. Guests also enjoy a variety of dancing, music, martial arts, authentic food and even a special Kidzone for the smaller set.
Top image courtesy of Huaxing Arts Group Houston