Next week marks the start of Chinese New Year festivities –  a celebration lasting 15 days, commencing on the day of a new moon and ending on the full moon with the lantern festival.  The calendar follows a 12 year pattern – each year named after an animal.  Legend has it, Buddha invited all the animals to celebrate and only 12 arrived – the 12 that came had a year named after each of them in order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.  This is the most important holiday on the Chinese calendar.  Each day a different ritual is preformed, bringing together families and traditions.  Gifts are generously exchanged – ranging from money to fruit.

Cultural holidays are a great way to introduce children to different traditions.  We are so lucky to live in a city where the world is literally at our doorstep – so why not take advantage and join in the celebration!  This year the V&A are holding a special exhibit on Imperial Chinese Robes from the Forbidden City.  The exhibit features workshops for adults, as well as free events for families this Sunday January 30th:

Chinese New Year Celebrations at the V&A
Celebrate the forthcoming Chinese New Year of the Rabbit with a day of family celebrations fit for the Emperors of the Qing Dynasty. The day is jointly organised with China Arts and the London Jing Kun Opera Association. All events are free and open on a drop-in basis unless specified.

Calligraphy and Brush-Painting Workshop
Sunday 30 January
Art Studio, Sackler Centre
10.30-13.00 and14.00-16.30

See a demonstration of traditional Chinese calligraphy, made with brush, ink and rice paper. Try writing your name or ‘Happy New Year’ in Chinese characters, and draw bamboo, pandas and other animals. Suitable for all ages.

Chinese Paper-Cutting Workshop
Sunday 30 January
Design Studio, Sackler Centre
10.30-13.00 and 14.00-16.30

Make traditional decorative papercuts to bring good luck for the New Year, with the London Jing Kun Opera Association. Suitable for all ages.

New Year Lion Dance
Sunday 30 January
11.45-12.00: outside Grand Entrance, Cromwell Road
13.45-14.00: Sackler Centre Reception

Watch the London Jing Kun Opera perform a Lion Dance, an ancient art said to have originated on the battlefield almost 1500 years ago and traditionally performed at New Year.

Chinese Costume Show
Sunday 30 January
Raphael Gallery
12.00-12.30 & 12.30-13.00

Get inspired by a beautiful show of Chinese fashions. Traditional and modern qipao, for women, and changshun,for men, will be modelled to the sound of live music performed by the UK Chinese Music Ensemble.

Music and Opera Performance
Sunday 30 January
Hochhauser Auditorium, Sackler Centre
14.15 & 15.45

Enjoy a live performance of traditional music and opera from the Qing Dynasty era.
Collect free timed tickets from Sackler Reception desk 20 minutes before each performance.

‘Touch-and-Play’ Family Music Workshop
Sunday 30 January
Seminar Room 1, Sackler Centre
14.30, 15.00, 15.30, 16.00

Get into the rhythm of Chinese culture with a hands-on music making workshop. See a variety of Chinese musical instruments on display including strings, woodwind, brass, calabash, clay and percussion. See how many names, shapes and sounds you can remember afterwards!

Collect free timed tickets from outside Seminar Room 1, 15minutes before each session

For more info please visit:  V&A | Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL

The MotherHood

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