Thursday, January 20, 2022

MOCA TALKS: Chinese Almanac—Year of the Tiger with Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith






Cover art by Kam Mak


MOCA TALKS: Chinese Almanac—Year of the Tiger

Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith

Wednesday, February 2, 2022, from 5:00 P.M. - 6:00 P.M. EST





Every year since 2010, when their Pocket Chinese Almanac launched at MOCA, authors Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith have been relating day-by-day forecasts deeply rooted in Chinese culture. In their talk at MOCA in January 2020, they relayed advice from their consulting geomancer months before the lockdown: (1) Do not try to convince others to change their minds, and (2) find a safe place and hide. That should have told us all something!

This February 2—the second day of this Lunar New Year—is when married daughters traditionally visit their parents’ home with gifts and red envelopes to families and relatives. It also happens to be Groundhog Day, which seems to be appropriate for the Year of the Tiger, when many events and challenges seem to be recurring in exactly the same way.

As we all look forward to smoother, healthier, more harmonious times, join us for a glimpse of what the Chinese almanac has to say about 2022 and the preparations and protections we may need.

The traditional Chinese almanac, known as the Tong Sing in Cantonese or Huang Li in Mandarin, is a centuries-old repository of cultural information from household tips to general medical remedies. But it’s the almanac’s predictions of which days are auspicious or ominous for a wide range of activities that has made the annual publication a mainstay in Chinese homes.

The cover of the 2022 Pocket Chinese Almanac is an illustration by the Brooklyn-based artist Kam Mak, who was commissioned by the United States Postal Service to design the previous 12-year run of Lunar New Year postage stamps. Learn more about what the cover means here.

We will continue to accept book orders leading up to and also after the program.


About the Authors

Joanna C. Lee is a recovering pianist with a doctorate in musicology from Columbia University. An active translator and interpreter, she has served such luminaries as former US President Jimmy Carter, film directors Luc Besson and Peter Greenaway, and Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan.

Ken Smith writes about Asian arts and culture for the Financial Times and other publications. He is the author of Fate! Luck! Chance! … the Making of “The Bonesetter’s Daughter” Opera. He eats Chinese fluently, in many different dialects.



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This program is brought to you by MOCA friends and partners, including Bloomberg Philanthropies.

This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs , in partnership with the City Council.




Museum of Chinese in America