Museum Hours
Thu: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
Tue–Wed: Closed
200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Ride Into the Year of the Horse at the Asian Art Museum

Lunar New Year festivities include music, lion-dance performances, storytelling, art activities, for Year of the Horse.

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Horse, approx. 206 BCE–9 CE (Western (Former) Han dynasty (206 BCE–9 CE)). China; Central Plains. Low-fired ceramic. Transfer from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of the M.H. de Young Endowment Fund, B81P75. Image © Asian Art Museum, San Francisco. , B81P75.

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 7, 2014—The Asian Art Museum will kick festivities into high gear throughout January and February to celebrate the Lunar New Year and welcome the Year of the Horse. Beginning in January, the Asian Art Museum will offer exciting opportunities for children to learn about the traditions of this important holiday through captivating storytelling, fun gallery activities and creative art-making. On Feb. 2, the museum will host the Lunar New Year Celebration featuring juggling and acrobatic performances by Red Panda Acrobats and more. The festivities carry on with the Year of the Horse Celebration on Feb. 9, featuring an electrifying lion-dance performance by students from the Chinese American International School.

The museum will bring the festivities to Westfield San Francisco Centre with a colorful and informative display about the animals of the Chinese zodiac used to mark the Lunar New Year. Additionally the museum will host a booth at the Chinatown Community Street Fair, where visitors can participate in art activities and win tickets to the museum and other prizes.

In many parts of Asia, the Lunar New Year is the most important celebration of the year. It falls on the first day of the lunar calendar, so the exact date changes each time. In 2014, Lunar New Year (also known as Chinese New Year) falls on Jan. 31.

A complete schedule of activities is listed below. Programs are subject to change. For updates, please visit or call 415-581-3500. More information about Lunar New Year traditions is also available on the museum’s website.

Activities at the Asian Art Museum

Family Fun Days
Sundays, Jan. 19, Feb. 16, 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. (10:30–11 a.m. stART tour for kids ages 3–7; 11–11:15 a.m. gallery parade; 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. art making and self-guided activities)
Check location at the information desk, free with museum admission

A new program designed for preschool and kindergarten students and their families, Family Fun Days are exciting opportunities to explore art and ideas through storytelling, gallery activities, art making and more. Themes and projects change regularly—in January and February, enjoy stories about the Chinese zodiac, and make your own drums or mixed-media horse mobile.

The Asian Art Museum’s Family Fun Days are generously sponsored by ScholarShare.

Lunar New Year Celebration
Sunday, Feb. 2, 10:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Free admission courtesy of Target

Hear storytellers share Lunar New Year stories, create your own work of art and search for zodiac animals on a treasure hunt through the galleries. Juggling and acrobatic performances by Red Panda Acrobats will add to the festivities.

Target First Free Sundays—free general admission on the first Sunday of every month and the family programs offered on that day—are made possible by Target. Due to capacity restrictions, admission is not guaranteed.

Year of the Horse Celebration
Sunday, Feb. 9, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. (Pre-K stories 11–11:30 a.m.; lion dance noon–12:45 p.m.; Lunar New Year stories 1–1:45 p.m.; hands-on activities 11 a.m.–2 p.m.; Animals of Chinese Zodiac with Amy Ma 2 p.m.–2:45 p.m.)
Museum-wide, free with museum admission

Students from the Chinese American International School will present classical music and dance to kick off the Year of the Horse. The program concludes, as tradition states, with a playful student-arranged version of the lion dance, which is believed to scare away evil spirits and ensure a bright beginning to the year. After the performance, enjoy Amy Ma’s story about Chinese zodiac animals and their characteristics and discover something new about yourself.

Gallery Guides
Pick up gallery guides at the information desk
Free with museum admission

Lunar New Year Family Gallery Guides introduce the Lunar New Year and the zodiac animals in the museum’s collection. Guides are customized for specific age groups. One guide is designed for 3 to 6 year olds to do with their parents. Another is a self-guided piece for kids ages 7 to 10. Complete each and get a prize at the information desk.
Elements of Art Explorer Pack introduce kids and families to line, shape, color and texture in the museum’s collection with an interactive guide and tools for exploring these art fundamentals.

New! Animal Adventure Explorer Pack features a set of cards with prompts that send kids and parents on a treasure hunt to discover animals in the Asian Art Museum collection and interact with their favorite animal in fun and engaging ways. Available starting Jan. 5.

Events in the Bay Area

Lunar New Year Display at Westfield San Francisco Centre
Tuesday, Jan. 7 through Sunday, Feb. 16
865 Market St., Level 2, near Bloomingdale’s

The Asian Art Museum will present a colorful and informative display about animals of the Chinese zodiac to mark the Lunar New Year at the Westfield San Francisco Centre. Guests at the mall will be able to determine their zodiac signs and learn about each sign’s characteristics, as well as other Lunar New year traditions and stories.

Chinatown Community Street Fair
Saturday, Feb. 15 and Sunday, Feb. 16
Grant Ave. from California to Broadway Streets; Pacific Ave. from Kearny to Stockton Streets; Washington and Jackson Streets from Kearny to Stockton Streets

The museum will participate in the annual Chinatown Community Street Fair, held on the same weekend as the Chinese New Year Parade. Drop by the museum’s booth to learn about the museum’s latest exhibitions and programs, hands-on art activities, and a chance to win tickets to the museum and other prizes.

Museum Store

The museum store will feature items for visitors to take home a part of the Lunar New Year Celebration. The store will feature Year of the Horse–themed merchandise, including paper-mache and ceramic horses and books for kids and adults about the Chinese zodiac.

Public Programs Sponsor

Major support for the Asian Art Museum’s Education and Public Programs is provided by Douglas A. Tilden, Freeman Foundation and The Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation. Additional support is provided by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, The Charles D. and Frances K. Field Fund, Bonhams, The Joseph & Mercedes McMicking Foundation, The Sato Foundation and Dodge & Cox.

About the Asian Art Museum

The Asian Art Museum–Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture is one of San Francisco’s premier arts institutions and home to a world-renowned collection of more than 18,000 Asian art treasures spanning 6,000 years of history. Through rich art experiences, centered on historic and contemporary artworks, the Asian Art Museum unlocks the past for visitors, bringing it to life while serving as a catalyst for new art, new creativity and new thinking.

Information: 415.581.3500 or

Location: 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Hours: The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. From Feb. 6 through Sept. 11, 2014 hours are extended on Thursdays until 9 p.m. Closed Mondays, as well as New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

General Admission: FREE for museum members, $12 for adults, $8 for seniors (65+), college students with ID, and youths (13–17). FREE for children under 12 and SFUSD students with ID. Admission on Thursdays after 5 p.m. is $5 for all visitors (except those under 12, SFUSD students, and museum members, who are always admitted FREE). Admission is FREE to all on Target First Free Sundays (the first Sunday of every month). A surcharge may apply for admission to special exhibitions.

Access: The Asian Art Museum is wheelchair accessible. For more information regarding access: 415.581.3598; TDD: 415.861.2035.

Press Release Types: Programs & Events