Chinese New Year at the National Maritime Museum

Coronavirus reopening

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Essential information

Event type: 
Date and time: 
25 January 2020 | 11am - 4pm
National Maritime Museum
Family fun

Celebrate the Year of the Rat with colourful crafts and performances.

We recommend arriving early in order to be in the best position to see the celebrations. The National Maritime Museum can be busy on this day.

Performance from Step Out Arts and the Guizhou Song and Dance Ensemble

2pm - 3pm on the Great Map

Head to the Great Map to see traditional lion dances by Step Out Arts and song and dance from the Guizhou Song and Dance Ensemble to truly celebrate the Year of the Rat. 

Please note that the Great Map gets very busy during this time. We recommend arriving early and speaking to a member of staff if you have any access requirements. Staff will also ask for all buggies to be left downstairs in the buggy parks.

Character Encounters: James Robson

Meet on the Great Map. Suitable for ages 6+

Explore the Traders gallery in the company of James Robson, a Chinese lascar (sailor) who served on the fastest and greatest of the tea clippers, Cutty Sark. Find out about the struggles of the tea trade between Britain and China during your journey.

Learn to play Mahjong

11am - 2pm

Location: Propeller Space

Newham Chinese Association is offering visitors to play and learn about Mahjong, a tile-based game developed in China. Find out more about the game and its long history, and test your newfound skills against other players!

Please note that spaces for this event are limited. Arrive early to avoid disappointment

Curious Collections with Chinese Connections

11:30am and 1pm - meet on the Great Map by the Traders Gallery

Find out about fascinating objects from the collection that have Chinese connections. This special tour will cover everything from the opium trade and polar exploration to ‘fake news’ and the history of pineapples. Led by a curator, this tour will take in several of our major galleries.

Chinese Storytelling

11:30am | 12:30pm | 3:30pm

Location: Voyagers Gallery, Sammy Ofer Wing

Participate in the traditional art of storytelling with the Confucius Institute as they weave a story for families of all ages.

The 12:30pm storytelling session will be done in Mandarin. The other two sessions will be in English.

Exchange Family Trail

Available all day from the Welcome Desks

The Traders Gallery looks at Britain's relationship with Asia over 250 years. Explore the gallery together using this family trail.

Suitable for ages 8+

Craft workshops for the whole family

Explore the relationship between China and Britain and the Museum's collections through a series of fun family workshops, suitable for all ages and abilities. See all the workshops on offer below.

Flag Printing

11am-2pm | 3pm-4pm

Location: Learning Space

Take inspiration from the Chinese flags in the collection to create your own using collage and block printing.

Fantastic Fireworks

11am-2pm | 3pm-4pm

Location: Group Space

Come along and help create an explosion of colour using all sorts of sparkly materials. Add your own piece to the collaborative artwork and watch the fireworks display grow throughout the day as we celebrate the New Year.

Origami rats

11am-1:30pm | 2:30pm-4pm

Location: Compass Lounge, Sammy Ofer Wing

Come and celebrate the long history of paper-making and Origami in China. Learn to create your own origami rat to take on a journey around the museum.

Paper Cutting

11am | 12:30pm | 3pm

Location: Briefing Space

Discover more about the Chinese art of paper cutting in this special workshop hosted by the Confucius Institute.

Suitable for ages 6+

Please note that spaces are limited and will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.