The Chinese lunar new year begins January 22, 2023, and starts the Spring Festival season that ends fifteen days later on the evening of the Lantern Festival. 2023 is the Year of the Water Rabbit. The Chinese zodiac rotates through a 12-year cycle of animals and the traditional five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. The rabbit ushers in the fourth year of the 12-year cycle, following the Year of the Tiger. Dating from as early as 1000 BCE, the traditional Chinese method of counting years is based on the sixty-year rotation of the planet Jupiter (known as the “year star”) around the sun.
Celebrate Lunar New Year with the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art with virtual and in-person events. Visit the Smithsonian American Art Museum's online Lunar New Year Family Zone featuring crafts, coloring pages, and videos. Listen to the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s Bravespace, a new music compilation featuring over a dozen Asian American artists reflecting on meditation, mindfulness, and collective healing.