Click for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Forecast



The Year of the Sheep:
22nd Annual Chinese New Year Celebration

Jade River Dancer

A member of the Jade River Dancers at last year's celebration. Photo: Jennifer Gibson.

The University of Pennsylvania Museum ushers in a thoroughly un-sleepy Year of the Sheep Saturday, January 25, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with its 22nd annual Chinese New Year Celebration. Music and dance performances, food, healing and martial arts demonstrations, games, workshops, arts, crafts, children's activities and much more--topped off with the traditional Chinese Lion Dance grand finale--are all part of the celebration, free with Museum admission donation.

Music, dance and special performances bring the sights, sounds and spectacles of China to the Museum. Young performers from the McCall School offer a demonstration of traditional Chinese dancing and drumming at 11 a.m. The Jade River Dancers will present programs at 1 and 2 p.m., drawing from their repertoire of traditional dances. Young dancers from the Plum Flower Dance Company perform at 1:30 p.m.

The Chinese Musical Voices offers a mini-concert of classical and folk music, ancient and modern, at 12:30 p.m. The group, under the musical direction of Dr. Hai-Lung Dai, chairman of Penn's Chemistry Department, performed at the Academy of Music in 1995 for the 125th anniversary of Philadelphia's Chinatown. The Philly Asian Music and Dance Association offers traditional Chinese music at 11:45 a.m.Chinese food--decorative and edible--is part of the festivities. Chef Joe Poon returns to give his ever-popular vegetable carving demonstration, 2-4 p.m. Charlotte Lin of Great Tea International™ will be giving an all-day demonstration of a traditional Chinese tea ceremony. In addition, the Museum Cafe will feature Chinese lunch entrees.

Chinese healing and martial arts continue to gain popularity in America, and visitors will have an opportunity to learn about several traditions. Dr. Jingduan Yang, a resident at Thomas Jefferson Hospital, gives a noon lecture on traditional Chinese medicine. Dr. Ching-Yao Shi, an acupuncture and Chinese medicinal herb specialist, discusses the use and benefits of Chinese medicinal herbs at an all-day demonstration table, and offers visitors an opportunity to have their pulses checked. Dr. Yong Kak Kim, a clinical associate at HUP's Rehab. Medicine, offers a 1 p.m. talk on acupuncture.

At 11:15 a.m. there will be a Tai Chi demonstration by members of the Silver Tiger Tai Chi organization, and Penn's Falun Gong club offers a demonstration of Falun Gong at 2:30 p.m. At 3 p.m. members of Cheung's Hung Gar Kung Fu Academy will be offering a Kung Fu demonstration.

Melanie Lewandowski, a Feng Shui master and president of Phoenix Design Associates, offers a slide lecture, "Feng Shui, the Art of Placement," at 2 p.m. Visitors will have an opportunity to learn a little bit about I Ching, the ancient Chinese art of fortune telling, and have a sample personal reading.

No Chinese New Year Celebration is complete without the traditional lion dance to usher in a year of good luck. Lion dancers and drummers from Cheung's Hung Gar Kung Fu Academy begin at 3:30 p.m.

See Almanac's January Extras! page for more photos.


  Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 18, January 21, 2003