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Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology 30th Annual Chinese New Year Celebration

The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology presents the 30th annual Chinese New Year Celebration Saturday, February 12, 2011, from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm! This PECO World Culture Day features music and dance performances, healing and martial arts demonstrations, games, workshops, children’s activities, and grand opening as well as grand finale lion dance performances.

The celebration is free with Museum admission donation ($10 general admission; $7 senior citizens [65+]; $6 students [with ID] and children [6 to 17]; free for children under 6, members, and PennCard holders).

Special presentations bring the sights, sounds, and wonders of China to the Museum. Penn Lions, a University of Pennsylvania student group, kick off the celebration with an electrifying lion dance opener.

Chinese for Families students perform traditional dances from the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China. Chinese for Families is a multicultural Chinese language school offering Mandarin language and dance classes. Students from the school will also present a Chinese language demonstration, teach a Chinese folk song, show a Chinese New Year movie, and host a craft workshop where children can try their hands at making Xinjiang dancer puppets.

Qin Qian and Kurt Jung perform traditional and modern Chinese music on the erhu (Chinese two-string fiddle) and the yangchin (Chinese hammered dulcimer). Qin Qian is a well-known erhu performer from Nanning, China, and Kurt Jung is a local Chinese and Western music performer. Both teach Chinese music in the Philadelphia area and have published music books. The duo will demonstrate and discuss the differences and similarities between Chinese and Western music at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm.

Dr. Jingduan Yang, Director, Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Program, Thomas Jefferson University, and Founder and Medical Director, Tao Institute of Mind & Body Medicine, lectures on “A Brief Introduction to Chinese Medicine” at 11:00 am. Dr. Yang discusses the history of Chinese medicine and its similarities, differences, and complementary practices to modern medicine. Between 11:00 am and 3:30 pm, visitors can head to the Chinese Rotunda, where staff from the Tao Institute of Mind & Body Medicine talk about different ways of healing in the context of Chinese medicine.

Onlei Annie Jung, a Calligraphy and Chinese painting instructor at the Perkins Center for the Arts, teaches visitors basic brush strokes for writing Chinese Characters and painting at a workshop held from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. Then Onlei returns at 2:00 pm to present a workshop about the ancient Chinese tangram puzzle. Tangrams are a set of seven geometric puzzle pieces used to create distinct shapes from a specific form. Over the centuries, tangrams have amused many from China, Europe, and the Americas, as countless shapes can be made, and the level of difficulty is wide ranging.

A rich line-up of dance performances takes place throughout the day! At 12:30 pm, Minghui School Dance Team executes classical Chinese dances such as a Tribute to the Holy Lotus and the Sound of Hope. The 6 to 14-year-old girls of the MeiMei Dance Troupe entertain audiences with a variety of Pan-Asian dances reflecting ancient Chinese tales at 1:00 pm. Next, at 2:00 pm, the Philadelphia Mulan Dance Troupe performs an engaging routine reflecting China’s long and prominent dance culture, including folk and modern Chinese, Tibetan, and Mongolian dances.

Visitors have the opportunity to practice mind-body self-improvement techniques throughout the day. At 1:00 pm, those curious about the health benefits of Tai Chi can participate with Master John Chen, Ba’Z Tai Chi & Kung Fu Studio, in a Tai Chi demonstration. Then, at 2:00 pm, attendees can join Falun Gong practitioners for mindful exercise and related holistic teachings.

Members of Cheung’s Hung Gar Kung Fu Academy offer an exhilarating Kung Fu demonstration at 3:00 pm in the Harrison Auditorium. Then, at 3:45 pm, lion dancers and drummers from Cheung’s Academy
wind their way from Harrison Auditorium to the Warden Garden, closing the Museum’s New Year celebration with a traditional lion dance to chase away evil and usher in a year of good luck.

Activities for children and families abound in the Museum’s Chinese Rotunda at the Chinese Art Marketplace, from 11:00 am to 3:30 pm. Visitors can experience demonstrations by area artists, including
paper cutting and Chinese calligraphy, learn more about Chinese New Year traditions, including Chinese zodiac and its legend and how the New Year is celebrated in China, and see the Museum’s much touted 19th century crystal ball – believed to have been owned by the last Dowager Empress, a Chinese ruler in the late 1800s.

The Museum’s two shops, the Museum Shop and the Pyramid Shop for Children, offer a colorful selection of Chinese arts, crafts, games, and books just for the celebration. As always, the Museum Cafe features several Chinese lunch entrees and kid-friendly foods.

Based in Philadelphia, PECO is an electric and natural gas utility subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC). PECO serves 1.6 million electric and 486,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Pennsylvania and employs about 2,400 people in the region. PECO delivered 84.3 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 38.1 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity in 2009. Founded in 1881, PECO is one of the Greater Philadelphia Region’s most active corporate citizens, providing leadership, volunteer and financial support to numerous arts and culture, education, environmental, economic development, and community programs and organizations.

The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is dedicated to the study and understanding of human history and diversity. Founded in 1887, the Museum has sent more than 400 archaeological and anthropological expeditions to all the inhabited continents of the world. With an active exhibition schedule and educational programming for children and adults, the Museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind’s collective heritage.

Penn Museum is located at 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (on Penn’s campus, across from Franklin Field). Public transportation to the Museum is available via SEPTA’s Regional Rail Line at University City Station; the Market-Frankford Subway Line at 34th Street Station; trolley routes 11, 13, 34 and 36; and bus routes 12, 21, 30, 40 and 42. Museum hours are Tuesday and Thursday through Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Wednesday, 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, with P.M. @ PENN MUSEUM evening programs offered weekly. Closed Mondays and holidays. Admission donation is $10 for adults; $7 for senior citizens (65 and above); $6 children (6 to 17) and full-time students with ID; free to Members, PennCard holders, and children 5 and younger; “pay-what-you-want” the last hour before closing. Hot and cold meals and light refreshments are available to visitors with or without Museum admission in The Pepper Mill Café; the Museum Shop and Pyramid Shop for Children offer a wide selection of gifts, books, games, clothing, and jewelry. Penn Museum can be found on the web at For general information call (215)898-4000. For group tour information call (215)746-8183.

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