The Lunar New Year celebration arrives

I’ve always been affectionate towards Asian culture since I grew up surrounded by it. Many of my blog postings are about the Orient/Far East/Asia (depending on what you called it and what generation you are.)

(Updating my original posting at bottom) I did get to the Kennedy Center for their Winter Lanterns Lunar New Year exhibit. A hundred children, assorted adults of varying ages and lots of cell phones were there to greet me. It was a chill evening as well.

That said — It was a wonderful night for taking pictures, and listening to onlookers, and to watch children react to the lanterns. Welcome to the Year of the Rat!

There were two sets of LED-lit lanterns – the upper set included the four cardinal animals – Tiger, Dragon, Firebird and Turtle, and the Chinese Zodiac.

The lower set had mushrooms in various non-authentic colors, drooping pink lilies, a sea reef complete with a turtle.

Then, D.C.’s obsession — pandas. Two large pandas decorated for the New Year, had  small pandas cavorting around it.

There were food trucks and a small lit dancing area in The Reach which is the Kennedy Center’s newly built addition.

On Sunday I went down to the newly-named Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art for their Lunar New Year entertainment. They had artisans making small characters, and then holding out molding clay for the children to create their own.

A Chinese finger painter, Hao Da Wei, painted characters on red paper and autographed, with his chop, his small painting. Of particular fascination to the children, and accompanying adults, was the candy blower, who created sugar rats, handing them out on sticks.

It was a great way to spend the weekend.

Original Posting:

Tomorrow I head down to the National Museum of Asian Art (the renamed Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery) for their New Year celebration. I will revisit the Hokusai: Mad About Painting exhibit which is worth multiple visits.

The Kennedy Center in Washington DC with an outdoor exhibit of the animals of the Chinese zodiac. I’m looking forward to photographing it, and posting my pictures.

So, this is a place holder — I’ll update it tomorrow night. In the meantime, may your Daruma wishes come true. The Daruma doll has many meanings but at New Year’s it symbolizes persistence and good luck. You make a wish, paint one eye, and maybe with hard work and good luck the wish will come true.

You see one of mine did and both eyes are painted. The others? Wishes in progress of course.

Stay tuned.

This entry was posted in Asian art, Freer Gallery of Art, Japan, Sackler Museum, Washington DC and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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