The most revered holiday in Chinese culture would not be the same without the iconic lion dance. It is believed to bring good luck.
At the Chinese American Museum of Chicago, organizers are planning a performance and a deconstruction of the lion dance. Patrons will get to hear the history as well as the meaning behind the rhythm and moves.
"At the end, we bow," said Master P.C. Leung, who leads the lion dance. "We bow three times because it symbolizes the heaven, the earth and the people."
Twenty-thirteen is the year of the snake. The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum will be on hand to help celebrate. The museums have joined in a year-long partnership to exchange knowledge and culture.
"We have a number of snakes in our living collection so it's very easy for us to develop programming around snakes," said Celeste Troon, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. "But we don't have the wherewithal to talk about the cultural side, the significance of the Chinese New Year.
The Chinese museum's mission is to educate the public about Chinese culture. It does so with numerous exhibits and displays.
The collaboration with the nature museum is just one more way to broaden its audience. Museum president Soo Lon Moy says she looks forward to ending the year of the dragon and teaching others the significance of the snake.
"They usually have different meanings for each animal," she said. "People who are born in those years are supposed to take on the characteristics of that animal. I think snake is loyal and smart and quiet."
The Chinese New Year's eve festivities will be held on Saturday, February 9. The event is part of a monthly concert series featuring traditional Chinese instruments and traditions.
For more information: