While it doesn’t actually happen until February 5th, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art celebrated the Chinese New Year in a sumptuous fete featuring costumes, dueling dragons, music, dance, and lots of delicious food. This has become an annual tradition in Kansas City and members of the Chinese-American community were on board giving demonstrations of China’s rich cultural past.
Performances were running almost continuously throughout the morning and afternoon. Local favorite Bo-Lings provided plenty of food. Since this is the year of the Pig, many of the items featured varieties of cooked pork, but some vegetarian options were available as well.
The gallery was festooned with lanterns, dragons, and banners. Everywhere you looked there were decorations. The museum really did an extensive effort in decorating the galleries.
One of my favorite things to see was the colorful period costumes. many of them were silk and looked very comfortable.
Given the Nelson-Atkins Museum’s extensive collection of Asian Art, the Chinese New Year’s Celebration seems to be the perfect fit. It is certainly popular with the people of Kansas City given the near-capacity crowd. The event is free and while there is a fee for the food the prices are very reasonable. I would recommend getting there early as the crowds can be almost overwhelming.