Celebrating the Year of the Rooster at SAAM

Chinese New Year Family Day at SAAM.

This year, SAAM was delighted to host our annual celebration of the Chinese New Year on the first day of the year, Saturday, January 28. So many friends and families (all 7,000 of you!) turned out to enjoy the activities and performances in the Kogod Courtyard.

Cui Tiankai, Ambassador to the United States of the People's Republic of China, and David Skorton, the Smithsonian's Secretary helped us "awaken the lion" and ring in the Year of the Rooster before visitors enjoyed incredible performances by the Yong Han Lion dance troupe from Johns Hopkins University. Secretary Skorton noted in his opening remarks that Chinese Americans have made significant contributions to the development of American culture, and the Smithsonian is proud to celebrate that heritage with crafts and activities. We definitely loved seeing guests of all ages make beautiful masks, paper lanterns, and cards throughout the day! Everyone was invited to engage with Chinese culture by learning about the art of calligraphy and trying on traditional costumes from the Chinese embassy. What activities did you enjoy the most? Comment below with your favorite performance or activity, or share with us on social media with #atSAAM!


Dancer, Beijing Opera Art's College. Photo: Bruce Guthrie.

SAAM's festival was the first in a series of "Chinese New Year DC" events—all presented in partnership with the Embassy of the People's Republic of China—that run through February 6. Upcoming events include a family day Saturday, February 4 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a celebration Sunday, February 5 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, and a ticketed performance by the Beijing Symphony Orchestra at 8 p.m. Monday, February 6 at the Kennedy Center.