Dancers wave colored scarves at a NMAA Nowruz celebration.

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.

  • The Next 100: grid of 100s with the 0s filled with different NMAA artworks

    Centennial Celebration at the National Museum of Asian Art

    In 1923, we became the Smithsonian’s first art museum on Washington, DC’s, National Mall. Since then, we’ve grown our collections, expanded our buildings, and earned a reputation for excellence through a century of exhibitions, research, conservation, and cultural exchange. Our centennial year is both a milestone and a springboard for a transformative vision for our next 100 years: to become a global resource for learning, research, and cultural connection.

    Learn more about the centennial
  • Detail of painting of red plum blossoms

    Lunar New Year Celebration

    Lunar New Year is a celebration of the arrival of spring and the beginning of a new year on the lunisolar calendar. It is the most important holiday in China, and it is also widely celebrated in South Korea, Vietnam, and countries with a significant overseas Chinese population. While the official dates encompassing the holiday vary by culture, those celebrating consider it the time of the year to reunite with immediate and extended family.

    Learn more about Lunar New Year
  • Nowruz Haftseen table arrangement


    Nowruz, the Persian word for “new day,” marks the vernal equinox and the first day of spring. Rooted in Zoroastrianism, the religion of Iran before the advent of Islam, Nowruz was celebrated in much of the ancient Near East as early as three thousand years ago. Today, people in many regions from West Asia and the Caucasus to Central Asia, to South Asia participate in the thirteen days of Nowruz festivities with their own local variations.

  • Detail of woodblock print depicting cherry blossoms in front of the Washington Monument

    National Cherry Blossom Festival

    In Washington, DC, the cherry tree has become a cherished symbol of the friendship between Japan and the United States. It all began in 1912, when Washington saw the arrival of more than 3,000 Japanese cherry trees, the first two of which were planted in West Potomac Park by First Lady Helen Herron Taft and Viscountess Chinda, the wife of the ambassador of Japan to the United States. Since then, Washington, DC’s National Cherry Blossom Festival has grown to include numerous programs and events celebrating the beauty of nature, community spirit, and international friendship.