Press Release
California Academy of Sciences - Newsroom

Andrew Ng (415) 379-5123
ang@calacademy.org

Stephanie Stone (415) 379-5121

Celebrate Chinese New Year at the California Academy of Sciences
Two weeks of cultural activities planned for February 18 - March 3

SAN FRANCISCO (January 16, 2007) – How is the Chinese New Year determined and what does it have to do with the moon? What customs are observed on and around the New Year? Why is 2007 called the Year of the Boar? Find the answers to these questions and more from February 18 - March 3 at the California Academy of Sciences. During this period, which mirrors the traditional two-week celebration of Chinese New Year, visitors can enjoy a daily series of programs and demonstrations highlighting different aspects of the Chinese culture. Topics include calligraphy, the lunar basis of Chinese New Year, Academy research expeditions to China’s Yunnan Province, symbolism in Chinese art, hands-on crafts, book talks, and much more.

In addition, from February 16-18, all San Francisco Chinatown residents with proof of residency in the 94108, 94104, and 94102 ZIP codes are admitted to the Academy free of charge, as part of its Neighborhood Free Day program. Check www.calacademy.org for more details about Neighborhood Free Days and a complete schedule of Chinese New Year activities. All programs are free with museum admission.

Calendar Editors Please Note the Following Confirmed Activities:

"THE YEAR OF THE PIG" BOOK READING
Sunday, February 18 at 11:30 am
Author Oliver Chin will read from his fun, illustrated children’s book The Year of the Pig: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac. Free with museum admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

"GOOD LUCK LIFE": CUSTOMS OF CHINESE NEW YEAR
Sunday, February 18 from 1 - 2 pm
Rosemary Gong, author of Good Luck Life, will talk about customary preparations for the Chinese New Year, using props and artifacts. She will also sign and sell copies of her book, which is an excellent guide to Chinese culture. Free with museum admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

YUNNAN EXPEDITION SLIDESHOW
February 19, 20, 22, and 27 from 1 - 2 pm
Academy scientists have mounted several expeditions to the Yunnan Province in southwest China. Join an Academy scientist or mountaineer for a presentation on Yunnan's unique wildlife and landscapes, discovered during the most recent expedition. Free with museum admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

FANTASTIC FISH ARTS & CRAFTS
Friday, February 23 from 1 - 2 pm
Fish are auspicious symbols in Chinese culture. Create an arts-and-crafts fish of your very own, with the guidance of Purple Crayon instructors. Free with museum admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

CHINESE PAINTING AND CALLIGRAPHY
Saturday, February 24 from 1 - 5 pm
Members of the Oriental Art Association will display and demonstrate Chinese-style painting and calligraphy in an extended session. Free with museum admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

SYMBOLISM IN CHINESE ART
Sunday, February 25 from 1 - 2 pm
Terese Tse Bartholomew, curator of Himalayan art and Chinese decorative art at San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum and curator of the recent "Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art" exhibit, will talk about symbolism in Chinese art. Free with museum admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

CHINESE ETHNOBOTANY
Monday, February 26 from 1 - 2 pm
Ethnobotanist Thomas Wang will discuss Chinese plants, herbs, religion, and mythology. Free with museum admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

SAMOVAR TEA TASTING
Wednesday, February 28 from 1 - 2 pm
The earliest records of human stress date back millions of years. To deal with the stresses in life, the Chinese began farming tea in 1000 BC. Not much has changed since: Life can still be stressful, and tea is still the perfect stress reducer. The Chinese consider tea to be one of the "seven daily necessities," not only as a beverage but also for medicinal purposes. Join us to find out just what makes tea so special to our daily life, courtesy of Samovar Tea Lounge. Free with museum admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

CLASSICAL TABLE-HARP DEMONSTRATION
Thursday, March 1 from 1 - 2 pm
Acclaimed master of the classical guzheng (Chinese table-harp) Weishan Liu offers a demonstration of this beautiful-sounding instrument. Ms. Liu has studied the guzheng since age 11, toured more than 20 countries with various orchestras, and won awards for her musical compositions and performances. Free with museum admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

CHINESE VEGETABLE CARVING
Friday, March 2 from 11 am - 2 pm
Watch master chef Jimmy Zhang turn ordinary fruits and vegetables into works of art. These miniature sculptures of flowers, birds, fish and more are used as garnishes on Chinese dishes. Free with museum admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

THE KOREAN LUNAR NEW YEAR
Saturday, March 3 from 1 - 2 pm
The Koreans are another Asian culture that celebrates the Lunar New Year at this time. Join David Lee from the Korean Center as he describes the traditions surrounding Solnal, one of the biggest holidays for Koreans. Free with museum admission.
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.

 


The California Academy of Sciences is home to Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium and the Kimball Natural History Museum. The Academy is in the midst of an extensive rebuilding project in Golden Gate Park. Pritzker prize-winning architect Renzo Piano is designing the new Academy, which is scheduled to open on September 27, 2008. www.calacademy.org (415) 379-8000.

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