Lunar New Year Celebrations in Kansas City

Lunar New Year is one of the biggest holidays in the world, celebrated in many Asian countries and by those of Asian descent around the world. Lunar New Year marks the beginning of the year on the lunar calendar whose months follow moon cycles. This year’s Lunar New Year celebrations begin on January 22 and culminate with the Lantern Festival on February 5. There are many opportunities to celebrate Lunar New Year in Kansas City!

Chinese New Year Gala Celebration at Midwest Trust Center (Jan. 14)

The Gala will be filled with talented performers, celebration of cultural traditions, and long-awaited opportunities for the community to come together! The program consists of Chinese folk dance, classical dance, Chinese folk song singing, Chinese traditional musical instrument performance, ballet, piano, and more.

Prior to the stage performance, booths and culture showcases will be set up in the MTC lobby to promote Chinese traditional culture like Lion Dance, Tea Ceremony, Traditional Chinese Painting, Spring Festival Couplets, Tai Chi, Paper Cut, Face Painting, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chinese Fashion Show, visual display of ancient Chinese culture, Chinese Go and Chess, family photo booth, family games, etc. Learn more.

Lion Dance at Wonderscope Children’s Museum (Jan. 20)

Celebrate Chinese New Year with a lively and colorful lion dance performance by the Rockhurst High School Lion Dance Team. There will also be a craft project to make and take home. Activities take place from 10-10:45 a.m. and are included with museum admission. Don’t miss it!

The lion dance is a traditional dance style that has two partners performing in a lion costume. Each team has a certain routine or system of tricks that they will perform including short and long respects, barrel rolls, and sometimes the front partner will jump onto the back person’s legs to make the lion stand. The costumes themselves are very intriguing and filled with vibrant colors of red, yellow, or black. Most lion suits can wink with the eyes, move the ears up and down, and wag its tail.

Lunar Year at Cafe Ca Phe (Jan. 21)

Celebrate at Cafe Ca from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Learn more.

Lunar New Year Celebration at Lenexa Public Market (Jan. 22)

Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with authentic performances, be entertained and try specialty dishes from Lenexa Public Market merchants. Watch Chinese folk dance, Tai Chi demonstrations and other performances and demonstrations. Kids will enjoy a special craft activity. Public Market Merchants will have specialty menu items. Learn more.

Shen Yun with Live Orchestra (Jan. 27-29)

Through breathtaking dance and music, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture. Its stunning beauty and tremendous energy leave audiences uplifted and inspired. This show runs Jan. 27-29 at the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts. Learn more.

Lunar New Year Festival at Nelson Atkins (Jan. 29)

Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit. Explore treasures from the Asian art collection and free exhibitions. Experience a variety of activities, dances, and music marking the Lunar New Year. All activities and performances are FREE and do not require tickets. Learn more.

Additional resources including recipes and other celebrations can be found here.

Sarah McGinnity
Sarah grew up in Manhattan, Kansas (Go Cats!), she moved to Minnesota where she met her husband, Shea. Realizing how much she hated snow in May, she convinced him to move to Kansas City in 2010. Together they have lived in Midtown, Waldo, the Plaza, and now Overland Park. Sarah is mom to 10-year-old, Henry, 7-year-old Clark and 5-year-old Lucy. She has her master’s in urban administration and is passionate about making Kansas City a more equitable and supportive community. In between the crazy, she likes to drink coffee, run, hike, travel as much as possible, and experience all things Kansas City!