Lunar New Year 2022 – Year of the Tiger- February 1, 2022

I’m back after a little break from blogging! If you’ve been following my blog and saw my Lunar New Year post from last year, the Year of the Ox, you won’t be surprised with this post. If you’re thinking I’m going to make an annual tradition out of this, you’re right!

Unlike last year, I’m not struggling with the blues this winter, yay! And unlike last year, I’m now going to my NYC office twice a week. With the never-ending news of Asians of all ages being attacked, you bet I’m on high alert while walking on sidewalks, in Port Authority, and in the subways! 

Like last year, I’m still participating in my town’s initiative to encourage diversity and inclusion within my community.  It takes a village–both literally and figuratively–to counter racism, since racism exists in all communities, whether you’re aware of it or not.  The more community members take part in such initiatives, the better off all communities would be! Racism comes from stereotypes that come from ignorance that comes from fear. Communication and information have the power to wipe away all of that! But it takes a unified effort from within each and every community. There should be a ZERO tolerance for hate and racism!

And like last year, I’ve been asked to help my local diversity group to come up with information to share about the Lunar New Year.  I am honored to be part of the Advisory Council for that group and that they adapted the information below to share with our community.  

 


Interesting Facts about Lunar New Year

I created a 1-pager that contains 8 (8 is a lucky number for the Chinese) key points on the Lunar New Year on one side and a little tutorial on stroke order for the tiger character in Chinese plus a fun Word Search activity on the other side. This piece is great for sharing with kids and raise their interest and appreciation at an early age of the East Asian cultures that celebrate Lunar New Year!

The information contained in my blog post below is lengthier and couldn’t be jammed in to a 1-page document about Lunar New Year. Some of the information is even new to me, and all of it is just so fascinating that I had to share! Thank you for reading and sharing!

NYC Chinatown Chinese New Year parade years ago

The largest human migration in the world

Did you know that 3 billion trips are made each year (including return trips) to visit relatives by plane, train and automobile to celebrate Chinese New Year?  Referred to as chunyun (春运), it is the travel period up to 15 days before the week-long observance of China’s Spring Festival (or chunjie (春) and up to 40 days. It is up to 40 days in part due to the lack of transportation options available for the millions to make each one-way trek during the same timeframe.  Depending on one’s luck in buying airplane/train/bus tickets, travelers end up traveling within the window 15 days prior to the start of and 15 days after chunjie ends. This year, chunjie starts on January 31 (New Year’s Eve) and ends on February 6. In modern China, most elderly parents still live in the rural villages of their ancestors, while the younger generation works in the cities.  Why do they call it Spring Festival when it takes place during the winter?  The Festival marks the end of the coldest days of winter, with people welcoming the coming spring with planting, which represents new beginnings and fresh starts.

Most & Least Compatible Signs

Most Compatible Signs/Lucky Years: Dog, Horse
Semi-Compatible Signs:  Dragon, Rat
Incompatible Signs:  Monkey, Snake

A few celebrities who were born during the year of the TIGER

Ludwig van Beethoven

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Queen Elizabeth II

Sun Yat-Sen

Mary Queen of Scots

Marco Polo

Ho Chi Minh

General Charles de Gaulle

Charles Lindbergh

Jonas Salk

Emily Bronte

Emily Dickinson

H.G. Wells

Agatha Christie

Marilyn Monroe

Jay Leno

Jon Stewart

Stevie Wonder

Demi Moore

Jodie Foster

Rosie O’Donnell

Hilary Swank

Dylan Thomas

Hugh Hefner

Lionel Ritchie

Kenny Rogers

Jon Bon Jovi

 

 

My collection of red envelopes saved through the years

More on Chinese New Year red envelopes

Etiquette:

1. Do gift crisp, new bills, as gifting dirty or wrinkled bills is in bad taste.

2. Do receive a red envelope with both hands and express thanks with an appropriate phrase. It is considered impolite to receive a red envelope with one hand and not express thanks with an appropriate phrase.

3. Don’t gift coins.

4.  Don’t give amounts starting with the number 4, like $4, $40 or $400.  The number ‘4’ Chinese sounds like ‘death’ and is therefore considered bad luck. Even numbers are better than odd numbers.  The number ‘8’ is considered good luck, so gifts like $8, $80 or $88 would be best.

5. Don’t open your red envelope in front of the person who just gave it to you.

Taboos and Superstitions

As in practically all other cultures around the world, there are a lot of taboos and superstitions adapted over the course of centuries, all of which have the intent of attracting good fortune into the New Year and protecting against bad fortune.

Do’s:

  • Do talk about good, happy things to set the tone for the new year
  • Do pay back your debts before the new year starts
  • Do wear red because red is the luckiest color

Don’ts:           

  • Don’t cut your hair on during the New Year, as that would cause connections to be severed
  • Don’t wear black or white, as both colors are associated with mourning
  • Don’t wash your hair or do laundry on the 1st or 2nd day of the new year, as that would wash good fortune away
  • Don’t sweep on the 1st or 2nd day of the new year, as that will sweep away accrued wealth / luck
  • Don’t cry or argue, as that will bring bad fortune

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