Chinese New Year and The Year of the Rabbit: What Will It Bring?-- ONSITE at Mechanics' Institute | Mechanics' Institute

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Chinese New Year and The Year of the Rabbit: What Will It Bring?-- ONSITE at Mechanics' Institute
with renowned Bay Area author Maxine Hong Kingston, historian and former Chinese New Year parade director David Lei and educator Linda Lei

Co-sponsored by Chinese Historical Society of America, San Francisco

The year of the Water Rabbit starting January 22, 2023 symbolizes a time of longevity, peace, and prosperity in Chinese culture. Join this celebation to find out what's in store during this year of hope!

This Chinese New Year celebration will feature renowned Bay Area author Maxine Hong Kingston and historian and former parade director David Lei. They will talk about how Chinese New Year has been celebrated in San Francisco, share memories of family traditions, explore the myths, rituals and qualities associated with the Water Rabbit, and offer predictions for the year. Special Guest, educator Linda Lei, will add her insights.

Holiday treats will be offered!

Maxine Hong Kingston is the author of The Woman Warrior, China Men, and The Fifth Book of Peace, among other works. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation, and the F. Scott Fitzgerald award. She was given the National Humanities Medal by President Clinton, and the National Medal of Arts by President Obama. She worked for many years as a senior lecturer in creative writing at UC Berkeley. Kingston lives in Oakland, California.

Born in Taiwan with Cantonese parents, David Y. Lei, 李萱頤, has lived in the Bay Area since 1956. He attended public schools and graduated from UC Berkeley in 1972 with a business degree. Lei worked as a social worker in San Francisco’s Chinatown with at-risk youths for many years before starting his business in consumer product sourcing which he sold in 2003 and retired. His involvement with the Chinese New Year Parade and Festival including being parade director spanned over 40 years. He has given various talks on Chinese American history and culture at The Commonwealth Club, California Historical Society, Asian Art Museum, Chinese Culture Center, San Francisco Main Library and was a commencement speaker to UC Berkeley's class of 2019 at Memorial Stadium. Lei remains as active in the community as ever, working to introduce sustainable funding models to community-based organizations. He feels that it is imperative to interpret Chinese American history and Chinese art and culture in the American context.

Linda Lei is an educator with more than four decades of teaching experience in Mandarin and Chinese culture. Following her retirement from Piedmont Schools, Linda joined the docent program at the Asian Art Museum, which has furthered her lifelong interest in Asian art while providing opportunities to continue teaching and sharing her love of Chinese calligraphy, painting, and storytelling with children and adults alike. Linda was elected Chair of the Docent Council at the Asian Art Museum from 2020 to 2022. During her tenure she worked closely with museum staff to adapt to a fully online learning environment in addition to leading in person touring programs. Previously, Linda was Co-Chair of the Docent Training Program and President of the Society for Asian Art.


NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

El proyecto NEA Big Read es una iniciativa del National Endowment for the Arts (el Fondo Nacional para las Artes de Estados Unidos) en cooperación con Arts Midwest.

Mechanics' Institute members Free

CHSA members Free with Promo Code CHSASF

Public sliding scale, $5 to $10

NOTE: Remember to attend San Francisco’s spectacular annual Chinese New Year Parade on Saturday, February 4 at 5:15 pm. It passes by Mechanics’ Institute on route from Market Street to Chinatown!

Meet the Author(s)

Members of Mechanics' Institute Free
Members of CHSA free with Promo Code
Public sliding scale $5 to $10
Register now ›
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