We draw on cultural traditions from across Asia in festivals and events that bring the museums to life for visitors of all ages. Immerse yourself in celebrations featuring art, music, theater, dance, and food that highlight local and international artists and communities.

Haft sin table

Nowruz: A Persian New Year Celebration
Saturday, March 16, 11 am–5 pm
Freer|Sackler and Ripley Center

Ring in the Persian New Year at our eleventh annual Nowruz celebration! Welcome spring with free attractions for all ages, including performances, storytelling, hands-on activities, and more.

The celebration will include:

Made possible by the Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar Persian Cultural Celebrations Fund.

Festive robe
Festive robe; Imperial Silk Manufactory, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province (weaving and embroidery); Imperial Workshop, Beijing (tailoring); China, Beijing, Qianlong period (1736–95), 1736–77; embroidery, polychrome silk threads on silk satin; Palace Museum, Gu42151 © The Palace Museum

Empresses Exhibition Opening Day
Saturday, March 30, 12–5 pm

Celebrate Women’s History Month and the opening of the landmark exhibition Empresses of China’s Forbidden City, 1644–1912, with activities for all ages throughout the museums. Be transported into the imperial complex known as the Forbidden City through fascinating curator talks, performances, food, and art activities on this special day.

  • Exhibition tours with curator Jan Stuart, 12 and 2 pm, Sackler, level B1 lobby
  • Food for an Empress: taste recipes from the Chinese imperial court, 12–4 pm, Sackler, ImaginAsia Studio
  • Entertainment for an Empress: Chinese classical musical theater performances by Shanghai Kunqu Troupe, 1 and 3:30 pm, Freer, Meyer Auditorium
  • Create your own royal portrait, 12–4 pm, Sackler pavilion
  • Write letters to women of the past, 12–4 pm, Sackler, level B1 lobby
  • Fly Chinese kites, 12–4 pm, Freer plaza (weather permitting)