Even though the exact origin dates are unknown, it is said that the history of the Lantern Festival may go as far back as the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.–220 A.D.). Traditionally observed on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar, the festival marks the return of spring and reunion of family. This year, it will officially take place on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022.
On Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, join Pacific Symphony and the South Coast Chinese Cultural Center/Irvine Chinese School for the return of our in-person Lantern Festival.
This free family-friendly event commemorates the end of the Lunar New Year celebration with music, dance, art making, riddles and food. Join us as the concert hall lobby becomes transformed for the festivities with floating lanterns and the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall is opened to the public for performances featuring local music and dance groups.
Here’s a closer look at what you can expect.
RENÉE AND HENRY SEGERSTROM CONCERT HALL
LANTERN FESTIVAL (11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. PST):
First Segment: UCI Dragon Dance Team, Pacific Symphony String Ensemble and Chinese Dance Company of Southern California
Second Segment: Samulnori, Korean American Youth Performing Artists, Pacific Symphony Youth Ensembles and Irvine Chinese Chorus
Third Segment: New Orange County Children’s Choir, Viet Cam Dance (with Tawni Thanh Thảo Nguyễn) and South Coast Chinese Orchestra
Admission is FREE, but tickets are required. Due to venue capacity, admission will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis throughout the course of the event. Though a ticket does not guarantee immediate admission, ticket holders will be given priority access. Be sure to print out all print-at-home tickets. To stay updated about our health and safety requirements, please use this link.
In addition to performances, there will also be activities. Examples include a lantern installation, Lantern Decorating with Bowers Museum and a calligraphy station. While most of the activities will take place in the lobby at the concert hall, there may be some outside on the plaza as well. Activities start at 11 a.m. PST.
JULIANNE AND GEORGE ARGYROS PLAZA
LITTLE LANTERN FESTIVAL (3:30 – 4:30 p.m. PST): Lion Dance, Chinese Folk Dance, Story of Lantern Festival, Wushu, Lion Dance Mask Demonstration, South Coast Chinese Drum Group and Lantern Parade
This mini outdoor festival is particularly tailored for families with young children.
Have you ever been to one of our Lantern Festival events before? Are you joining us this year? Let us know in the comments below!
**Performances and activities are subject to change. Please check the website prior to your visit for updated information.