CHICAGO, Jan. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Celebrating its 7th year, Chicago's citywide Chinese New Year Celebration returns January 24 – February 9 with three weekends of cultural performances, colorful parades and special events to usher in the Year of the Rat.
"The Chinese New Year of the Rat is approaching and we are very happy to work with our partners in Chicago to present a series of wonderful programs to celebrate this most important traditional festival for the Chinese people," said Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Chicago ZHAO Jian. "It has become a tradition for us to share our festive joy and cultural traditions with American people in the Midwest since 2014 when the City of Chicago first organized the city-wide Chinese New Year celebrations. Many top-level Chinese art groups have visited Chicago during the last few years' celebrations and their performances not only brought to the local people the precious opportunity to enjoy the glamour of Chinese culture, but also enhanced the mutual understanding and friendships between our two peoples. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all involved and wish everyone a marvelous Year of the Rat."
The signature event of the Celebration features a dynamic evening of traditional Chinese music and theatre. The Shanghai Chinese Orchestra will highlight the history and influence of Chinese culture using traditional instruments. And the Zhejiang Shaoju Opera Theatre brings the festive costumes, percussion, and drama of Chinese opera. Presented by Symphony Center Presents and Choose Chicago, the Chinese New Year Celebration at Symphony Center on Sunday, January 26 at 3PM is sure to impress the audience with traditional Chinese art forms.
The first half of the concert features the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra's critically acclaimed program New Oriental Music Scene. The program features original compositions and new adaptations of pieces that continue the legacy of Chinese national music including "Dancing Birds" (adapted from A Hundred Birds Paying Homage to the Phoenix), "The Silk Road" and "Farewell to My Concubine." In the second half of the concert, the renowned Zhejiang Shaoju Opera Theatre presents a dazzling combination of vocal artistry, colorful costumes, mime, face changing and acrobatics in three classic scenes including the Monkey King Subdues the White-Bone Demon, a classic Chinese story that follows the adventures of the Monkey King.
"Chinese New Year is always a cultural highlight for the city of Chicago," said Choose Chicago President and CEO David Whitaker. "The festivities and celebrations that mark the Chinese New Year holiday are a great way to showcase the artistic excellence of the participating cultural institutions and celebrate our special relationship with both Chinese visitors and our local Chinese community that call Chicago home."
The Zhejiang Shaoju Opera Theatre will give a special sneak peak of their Symphony Center performance during the Chinese New Year Kickoff Celebration presented by the Chinese Fine Arts Society in Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center on Friday, January 24 from 12 – 1PM with the music melody "Floating Clouds and Flowing Water" and "Grand Bustling Chinese New Year" adopting face-changing, long silk, and acrobatics. Celebrate the first day of the Year of the Rat with additional performances featuring Lion dancers, Silk Road pipa master Yang Wei, martial arts, and the award-winning Flying Fairies dance troupe.
January 24 - 26
The opening weekend of Chicago's Chinese New Year Celebration features the Kickoff Event at the Chicago Cultural Center, the concert at the Symphony Center and a large celebration at Navy Pier.
- January 25: In partnership with the Chinese Fine Arts Society, Navy Pier will host Global Connections: Chinese New Year from 1 – 5 PM. The Aon Grand Ballroom will be transformed into a festive Chinese marketplace featuring festive décor, bold costumes, customary music and dance performances, traditional food, crafts and more!
February 1 – 2
The second weekend of Chicago's Chinese New Year Celebration is full of colorful parades, a concert at Apple Michigan Avenue and a documentary series presented at the Chicago Cultural Center by Asian Pop-Up Cinema.
- February 1 – 2: Two of Chicago's neighborhoods welcome marching bands, colorful floats, traditional lion dancing and much more during Lunar New Parades. The Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade will take place on Sunday, February 2 from 1 – 3PM in the historic Chinatown neighborhood. Uptown will host their Argyle Lunar New Year Parade and Celebration on Saturday, February 1 from 12 – 4:00PM.
- February 1: The Arts & Culture Doc Fest is returning for a fifth year at the Chicago Cultural Center from 2:00 – 5:00PM. The Doc Fest is proud to premiere four select episodes from the "Wonder of China" documentary series produced by the China Broad View Cultural Communication Center in Beijing.
- February 1: The Chinese Fine Arts Society presents a special Today at Apple performance in celebration of Chinese New Year. Enjoy interactive multi-arts performances of Chinese dance, martial arts, calligraphy, and music. Then, get hands-on experience using the enhanced slo-mo and time-lapse video features of iPhone filming the performances while learning tips from Apple's own Today at Apple team.
February 8 – 9
Wrapping up the Year of the Rat Celebration is an event at one of Chicago's renowned cultural institutions, a lantern procession and new event at Gallagher Way.
- February 8: The Art Institute of Chicago's Lunar New Year Celebration will celebrate the Year of the Rat and its promise of prosperity at this multi-generational event featuring art making, music, games, an artist demonstration, a performance about the traditional animals of the zodiac, and gallery talks in English and Mandarin from 1 – 4:30PM.
- February 8: Immediately following the Art Institute of Chicago's Celebration, join the Chinese Fine Arts Society's Lantern Procession through Millennium Park to Maggie Daley Park, followed by more New Year's activities, including a lion dance performance, art making, and ice skating from 5:00 – 7:30PM.
- February 8: Celebrate the Year of the Rat at the Winterland Chinese New Celebration at Gallagher Way, produced by LUMA8 and featuring Huaxing Arts Group and Pyrotechniq. Enjoy traditional Chinese lion and dragon dances, learn more about your Chinese Zodiac, and watch as the ice rink is taken over by a magical LED dance performance. Children can take part in a lantern-making workshop for the evening lantern procession.
Throughout the citywide Chinese New Year Celebration January 24 – February 9 be sure to visit Fashion Outlets of Chicago and The Shops at North Bridge to receive a red envelope containing exclusive Lunar New Year offers from participating stores.
For a complete list of Chicago's Chinese New Year events visit ChooseChicago.com/chinesenewyear
About Choose Chicago
Choose Chicago is the official sales and marketing organization responsible for promoting Chicago as a global visitor destination leveraging the city's unmatched assets to ensure the economic vitality of the city and its member business community. For more information, visit choosechicago.com. Follow @ChooseChicago on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
SOURCE Choose Chicago