Museum of Fine Arts Welcomes the “Year of the Dog”

Museum of Fine Arts Welcomes the “Year of the Dog”

 

Written by Nana Aisyah

Festivities have begun across the world and around the nation for the lunar new year. The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) welcomed the “Year of the Dog” with festivities and free admissions to all on Feb. 10. Hundreds of attendees waited outside the museum in the cold as they waited for the event. The event itself included activities, demonstrations, and performances of Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese traditions throughout the day. 

From 10 a.m. to approximately 4 p.m., various activities unfolded such as interactive demonstrations of Kung Fu, a festive lion dance performance, saebae (a Korean bowing ceremony), traditional Korean fan and drum dances, a Vietnamese traditional candle dance, and guided yoga and meditation.

Members of the Korean Cultural Society of Boston held the saebae demonstration at noon. Saebae, a traditional, formal bowing ceremony practiced in Korea by family members during the Lunar New Year, is composed of a deep, kneeling bow and a verbal blessing that wishes the recipient good luck for the upcoming year.

The Kung Fu and lion dance demonstration included a lion dance set which told the story of spreading luck for the new year through various Kung Fu sequences.

“We feel very honored to be invited by the Museum of Fine Arts to preserve and promote this art and to celebrate the Lunar New Year,” said Mai Du, an instructor of Wah Lum Kung Fu at Tai Chi Academy.

The students of the academy demonstrated a variety of handsets, kicks, strikes, blocks, and weaponry. The academy, which is based in Malden and Quincy, brought over 50 students ranging from working professionals to four-year-old novices.

“For the young students, it is important that they get to be a part of something really special, very positive and finally [get] to share their hard work [in] learning and preserving Kung Fu,” Du said.

Families with young children were able to participate in various art-making activities, such as creating zodiac ink scrolls, door guards (to keep the bad spirits away), lanterns, and hand drums. According to Chinese tradition, the drums’ noise scare away the evil spirits that may linger from the previous year.

The Museum of Fine Art’s Lunar New Year celebrations were supported by the Mabel Louise Riley Foundation and was presented in partnership with Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, Korean Cultural Society of Boston, Vietaid and the Chinese Culture Connection. 

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