This year's Chinese New Year Festival observes the Year of the Snake — to be more precise, the Year of the Water Snake … the deadliest year of them all! People born in the Year of the Snake — like Picasso and Jackie O — are apparently charming, magnetic and wise, so they'll probably be the ones who make the flashiest paper lanterns and write the most graceful Chinese characters. Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold stops moving long enough to weigh in on the city's venerable Chinese food scene (issue: is chop suey still relevant?), while traditional Chinese songs played by UCLA's Music of China Ensemble plays on as the year unfolds, minute by sinuous minute. Co-presented by the UCLA Confucius Institute — which is not, contrary to popular belief, the source of all those terrible “Confucius say…” jokes. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd.; Wstwd.; Sun., Feb. 10, 2 p.m., free. (310) 443-7000,

Sun., Feb. 10, 2-6:30 p.m., 2013

LA Weekly