103_1799What is “World Culture”? In our global society it has never been more important for our children to learn about and embrace the cultures of our world.

This past weekend, my family and I had the great pleasure of celebrating the Chinese New Year at The Penn Museum in Philadelphia. It was a day full of music, crafts and history. We were transported to another country through demonstrations and hands on activities. In a few words I would describe the Chinese culture as Colorful, Spirited, Traditional and full of exquisite Talent. This annual celebration of 33 years included a complimentary themed menu, intriguing sword and fan dances, an informative Tang Horse presentation celebrating The Year of the Horse and a calligraphy instruction, among many other events and activities.

Our absolute favorite part was witnessing and participating in Chef Joseph Poon’s humorous and extremely talented food carving art demonstration. He created beautiful and intricate art from fruits and vegetables that were truly too good to eat. My daughter was mesmerized by his craft and storytelling. Chef Poon is a terrific entertainer – capturing the entire audience for an engaging performance. See our video below for a glimpse of his presentation.

Please find our short videos highlighting the Eastern vs. Western Music Demonstration and our overall experience at the Penn Museum. This was sure an event not to be missed but in case you have, there are some additional upcoming events and ways that you and your family can celebrate the Chinese New Year and Chinese culture.

Here are some of those upcoming Chinese New Year festivities in the Philadelphia area:

January 30, 2014 – Chinatown, Philadelphia, PA

Midnight Lion Dance Performance
Fireworks and lion dance parade beginning 10th and Race Streets running through Chinatown.

January 31, 2014 – Chinatown, Philadelphia, PA
Chinese Lunar New Year 4712 Banquet at Rising Tide Restaurant
Experience Chinese culture tradition through a ten course banquet.

February 1, 2014 – Wilmington, DE

Chinese New Year Celebration

Held at the Delaware Art Museum and Hanlin Chinese Culture Association from 11 AM to 3 PM

February 2, 2014 – Chinatown, Philadelphia, PA

Martial Arts Performance

Takes place at 10th and Arch Street

February 2, 2014 – Chinatown, Philadelphia, PA
The Philadelphia Suns Lion Dance Parade
Parade to include martial arts performances and fireworks. It begins at 10th and Spring Streets at 11AM.

February 5th – Chinatown, Philadelphia, PA

Chinese Lunar New Year 4712 Banquet
Place:Located at the Sang Kee Peking Duck House from 6-9 PM. Ten course banquet fully immersed in Chinese culture and tradition.

February 7, 2014 – Philadelphia, PA

14th Annual Lunar New Year Celebration

Held at the International House of Philadelphia at 7PM

February 9, 2014 – Philadelphia, PA

The Tet Festival

From 11 AM to 7 PM at Boat People SOS – Delaware Valley

February 12, 2014 – Philadelphia, PA

Chinese Folk Tales, Dance, Music & Lion Dance

Held at the Philadelphia Free Library – Independence Branch at 12:30 PM

April 25-27, 2014 – Philadelphia, PA

Shen Yun 2014

Merriam Theater

Elegant and mesmerizing Chinese live production with a live orchestra using ancient Chinese instruments. This is a breath-taking, colorful, extraordinary experience taking the audience through dynasties and into another world.    103_1786

Whether you partake in any of the above, you can also engage your children with these additional resources. (Disclosure: We are happily partnered with Barefoot Books who offers an amazing line of children’s books and games. We are also affiliated with Amazon.) Lin Yi’s Lantern is a fictional story about a boy who wants a lantern for the Chinese Moon Festival (includes educational notes on Chinese culture and the Moon Festival). Also by Barefoot Books, please find The Great Race, a book about the Chinese zodiac. Little Leap Forward – A Boy In Beijing is a fictional chapter book option discussing the culture of China. Additionally, Exploring Chinatown: A Children’s Guide to Chinese Culture is a great resource with insight on Chinese tradition. For those looking for lessons on Chinese instruments should consider meeting with Kurt Jung and Qin (Nancy) Qian, the musical performers from the Chinese New Year Celebration at Penn Musuem. They can be reached via email: nancyqinerhu2013@gmail.com and by Ms. Qian’s website www.qinqianerhu.com for more information on classes.

Penn Museum is a great launching pad for any discussion or lesson on world culture, whether your children are learning about a specific country in school or you are exploring as a family. Penn Museum has Mummies at The Penn Museummany upcoming events in addition to their on-going exhibits. Some of these include the Annual Celebration of African Cultures on February 8th and Native American Voices exhibition opening on March 1st from 11 AM to 4 PM. A great friend of mine from Jersey Family Fun had just spent the night at Penn Museum with their 40 Winks with the Sphinx program. I’ll link her blog review here shortly but the next opportunity to participate in this overnight program is on February 28th.

Penn MuseumRoman ExhibitGreek Exhibition

Disclosure: This was a sponsored post in that we were compensated or offered complimentary product/tickets for review purposes. The opinions expressed herein are strictly my own.