NEW YORK, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York, one of the world's leading art museums, is to hold a weekend special program to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year.
According to information released on the official website of the Met, the program will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24, featuring music and art performances, interactive gallery activities, and artist-led workshops for all ages.
This is the ninth consecutive year for the museum to hold celebratory events for the Chinese New Year, said Sandra Jackson-Dumont, chairman of education of the musuem.
Jackson-Dumont made the remarks on Tuesday evening at a grand ceremony held in the museum's Temple of Dendur, where over 100 guests from various ethnic groups gathered to mark the Chinese New Year, according to a Wednesday report in The World Journal, a local Chinese language newspaper.
The Chinese Lunar New Year, more commonly known as the Spring Festival in China, is also celebrated in many other Asian countries such as Vietnam, South Korea and Singapore. It fell on Feb. 16 this year.
As a typical epitome of America's ethnic and cultural diversity, New York City has a long tradition of celebrating the Chinese New Year. But the festival has gained increasing popularity in the past decade thanks to the active promotion of the Chinese and Asian communities as well as the growing interest in the Chinese culture among Americans.
Established in 1870, the metropolitan museum has grown into the largest art museum in the United States, and was the world's second most visited art museum in 2016 with 7.06 million visitors.
The museum has seen a steady rise of visitorship in recent years, partly owing to a rapid growth of visits by Asian art lovers including many Chinese.
As 2018 is the Year of the Dog by the Chinese zodiac, quite a few Chinese visitors to the Met have found lots of fun looking for dog-related relics and exhibits in the museum's immense collection and then posting pictures to their personal accounts of WeChat, the most popular social networking app in China.