Year of the Monkey arriving in Washington

Updated: 2016-01-31 05:18

By CHEN WEIHUA in Washington(

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Year of the Monkey arriving in Washington

Zhang Xihe, better know as Niren Zhang (Monkey Figurine Zhang), teaches children how to make monkey figurine on Saturday morning in the Kogod Courtyard of American Art Museum in Washington where the Chinese New Year Family event was held to greet the Year of the Monkey, which falls on Feb 8. [Photo by Chen Weihua/China Daily USA]

Nearby, four-year-old Asa Darlington was playing with a chunk of yellow dough. "I am making a monkey. This is the Year of the Monkey," he said. At the table, 73-year-old Zhang Xihe, better known for his nickname Nihou Zhang (Monkey Figurine Zhang), was tutoring children how to make monkey figurines.

There are more than a dozen tables like that in the courtyard filled with children learning and practicing everything from paper cutting, farmers’ painting, calligraphy, mask coloring, Chinese knot making and lantern making.

Callun DeLele, 4, was almost done in making a red paper lantern. "I made it by myself," he said, with a sense of pride written on his face.

In another corner, Christina Trifonova, a woman from Rockville, Maryland, was putting on a colorful Chinese costume with the help of a volunteer. Her two daughters, nine-year-old Ales and five-year-old Sinona, were already dressed up. They then posed for multiple photos.