All of the Lunar New Year Festivities at the Kennedy Center and REACH

REACH Winter Lanterns, Flowers

From January 22–February 2, 2020, the Kennedy Center presents its fifth annual Lunar New Year Celebration, honoring the traditional holiday that is observed in countries and territories around the world.

This coming year’s festivities include the debut of a Winter Lanterns display in the recently-opened REACH campus, a ticketed concert by the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra in the Concert Hall, the ever-popular KC Chinese New Year Family Day followed by a Beijing Bamboo Orchestra performance on the Millennium Stage, and 2 weeks of special evening programs—REACH Winter Lanterns PLUS, celebrating Chinese and Korean arts and culture.

Free, no tickets required. All ages are welcome to this fun-filled day of activities and entertainment! Family Day is part of the Kennedy Center’s annual Lunar New Year festivities, this year celebrating the Year of the Pig with three days of festivities, including special events showcasing the arts and culture of China’s Guangdong Province.

The 2020 Lunar New Year Celebration kicks off with a one-of-a-kind concert by the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra. Showcasing instruments that are endemic to its culture, the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra is widely recognized as the first modern orchestra of traditional instruments in China. For the January 22 program, the ensemble presents a varied repertoire of works written by current Chinese composers that prominently feature Chinese instruments in solos.

Later, the Beijing Bamboo Orchestra, known as China’s only “green orchestra,” performs with more than 30 types of instruments made entirely from bamboo!

REACH Winter Lanterns is a display of approximately 100 Winter Lanterns that are made up of 10,000 colored LED lights and crafted by Chinese artisans. These Winter Lanterns will adorn outdoor spaces in The REACH, offering a whimsical experience that is enhanced by art, food trucks, and more. The display includes a four-piece installation of the Chinese “Four Symbols”—Azure Dragon, Vermilion Bird, White Tiger, and Black Tortoise—which represent a direction and a season in Chinese mythology. In addition, other installations include the 12 Zodiac Signs, Panda Grove, Mushroom Garden, Floral Garden, Jelly Fish corner, and Water Lilies displays.

Feelak Company, Courtesy of the Artist

REACH Winter Lanterns PLUS adds excitement and entertainment to the evenings. Activities vary daily, but include such fun as demonstrations by Chinese artists of Beijing Opera make up, sugar painting, and calligraphy, as well as special performances, like magicians!

The full schedule of events: 

Shanghai Chinese Orchestra

Muhai Tang, conductor

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

8 p.m.

Kennedy Center Concert Hall

Tickets $15–$59

Immediately following the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra Concert, the REACH Winter Lanterns kick off will take place at the outdoor campus of The REACH.


REACH Winter Lanterns

Presented in Collaboration with NEWYORKEE—New York Events & Entertainment

January 22–February 2, 2020



REACH Winter Lanterns PLUS: China

Supported by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United States of America, the Department of Culture and Tourism of Shenzhen, and the Municipal Government of Guangdong Province of China.

January 23, 2020 5:30–10 p.m.

January 24, 2020 5:30–10:30 p.m.

January 25, 2020 5:30–10:30 p.m.

January 26, 2020 4–9:30 p.m.



REACH Winter Lanterns PLUS: Korea

Supported by Embassy of the Republic of Korea and the Korean Cultural Center in Washington D.C.

January 30, 2020 5:30–10 p.m.

January 31, 2020 5:30–10:30 p.m.

February 1, 2020 5:30–10:30 p.m.

February 2, 2020 4–9:30 p.m.




KC Chinese New Year Family Day

January 25, 2020

1:30–4:30 p.m.




Beijing Bamboo Orchestra

Saturday, January 25, 2020

6 p.m.

Millennium Stage



Add Comment