Happy Lunar New Year!

Enjoy the commemoration of Lunar New Year—an annual celebration in China, several East and Southeast Asian countries, and around the world—virtually and in person at the Nelson-Atkins. Lunar New Year marks the transition from one sign to another; on February 1, 2022, we leave the year of the Ox and enter the year of the Tiger. Celebrate virtually with the video Through the Dynasties, create a Year of the Tiger decoration, and visit the museum for additional offerings throughout the month.

Lunar New Year at the Nelson-Atkins: January 20-February 7, 2022

Onsite Offerings


  • Pick up a free Year of the Tiger art activity and New Year Greeting Calligraphy Bookmark (while supplies last) at the Info Desk.
  • Hunt for your zodiac animal with the digital Family Gallery Guide at naguide.org.
  • Meet charming animals in the new FREE exhibition–Lively Creatures: Animals in Chinese Art and view the red lantern decorations in the galleries.
  • See sumptuous clothing and textiles in Weaving Splendor: Treasures of Asian Textiles, on view through March 6, 2022 (tickets required).

Weaving Splendor Image


  • Daily (except Tuesdays and Wednesdays), 11 a.m.-2 p.m.: Purchase a Chinese-themed lunch entrée at Rozzelle Court Restaurant and see zodiac animal banners.
  • Saturdays & Sundays, 1-4 p.m.: Free Weekend Fun: Learn about textile traditions in the Japanese Art Gallery and take home a mini paper Kimono to decorate.
  • January 30, 1-4 p.m.: Fiber artist Cynthia Elaine Smith shares the basic concepts of tapestry weaving on a small cardboard loom in The Creativity Studio (exhibition tickets required).

Creativity Studio Picture

Year of the Tiger Tiger Art Activity

Example of Tiger activity

Create a tiger decoration to ring in the New Year and wish each other good health, luck, and prosperity! People born in the Year of the Tiger—including 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, and 2010—are considered independent, strong, fearless, and loyal according to Chinese astrology. The tiger is the third of the 12-year cycle of animals in the Lunar zodiac calendar. Click below to create your own brave tiger decoration and see a tiger in the museum collection. Why create a red tiger? Red is considered auspicious or lucky, so it is used as the main color for the Lunar New Year festival in many Asian cultures.

Print and make your own tiger or pick up an activity sheet at the Info Desk in Bloch Lobby, January 20 through February 7, 2022.

Download Tiger Activity

Find this tiger and many more animals in the new FREE exhibition Lively Creatures: Animals in Chinese Art, on view through September 4, 2022.  

Tiger Scroll Image

Dynamic Performances Videos with Inspiration

Through the Dynasties

On the day before Lunar New Year, Michaela seeks inspiration for her paper at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. As she follows her imagination and explores the galleries and the featured exhibition Weaving Splendor: Treasures of Asian Textiles, she comes to understand that these art objects transcend time and space, showing the history of humankind. Watch as she contemplates the stories behind the objects and reflects on the relevance of these antiquities to our lives today.

Director/Cinematographer/Editor: Max Jiang
Assistant Director: Fanyi Meng
Performers: Michaela Harding, Wanwan Tsai, Sawyer, Kelly Fu, Joy Ruan, and Leslie Neth
Music: Qu Zhang


The Impression of the Tang Dynasty

Dances by talented local groups are always part of the annual Lunar New Year festival at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Take a step back in time with us to the flourishing Tang dynasty. The dance is from the Kansas City Chinese Association (KCCA) 2022 original New Year feature film: NIAN.

Dance director: Jia Wei
Presented by KC Silk Road Dance Academy
Performers: Jia Wei, Julia Hou, Nancy Zhao, Janney Duncan, Xing Xia, Xiu li Griffiths, Li Xing, Linlin Bostwick, Yuan Cheng, Jue Chen
Film director and editor: Max Jiang
Produced by the Kansas City Chinese Association


Thank You

Special thanks to community partners and participants who contributed to our virtual and in-person Lunar New Year experiences. The performances planned for January 29 and 30 were cancelled due to Covid-19 safety concerns. We appreciate the preparation for the performances, and we look forward to celebrating together in the future.

  • Chinese Institute of Language and Culture
  • Chinese School of Greater Kansas City
  • Jasmine Chinese Dance Group
  • Lily Zhang Li Taylor Dance Academy
  • Max Jiang
  • Rockhurst High School Lion Dance Team
  • Taiwan-America Friendship Association
  • Three Trails Taiko
  • William, Wen, and Catherine You

Thank you to Nelson-Atkins members–the art and soul of the museum–who make projects such as this possible.

Lunar New Year in Rozzelle Court