February 3, 2023

Arrow’s D&I Speaker Series: A Chinese New Year Conversation with Professor Huichun Liang

Category: D&I Series

Author: Charlie Johnson

Professor Huichun Liang has been teaching Chinese at the University of Missouri – Columbia for more than 20 years. She met with Arrow resident Agnus Lee to discuss the Chinese New Year.  Born in China, Agnus was raised and educated in both China and Taiwan.

According to Professor Liang, the Chinese New Year is based on the Lunar calendar, not the Gregorian calendar. The new year begins with the new moon that occurs between January 21st and February 20th, according to western calendars. From the first day of the New Year through the 15th day, various activities occur. Family members travel, returning home to reunion. People feast and pray to their ancestors. Communities wish to usher out the old year and welcome the new. Younger people receive red envelopes from the elderly with money inside. Receiving a red envelope means good luck.

Also known as Spring Festival, during the Chinese New Year, Chinese people use red paper cuttings to decorate their homes, wear a lot of red clothing, make and eat dumplings, and celebrate with firecracker displays. In addition to food and feasting, gifts are given on the second day of the New Year, prompting trips to shops and flower markets.

While the first day is primarily spent at home with family, festivities move to public places in subsequent days for parades, lion dances, dragon dances, and lantern parades. Special New Year’s cards are sent to family members that are not able to join in the group celebration.

During the Chinese New Year people should not reference the numbers four, five, or seven as those numbers are associated with death, mistake, or bad luck. Also of note, the colors black and white are associated with death and thus should be avoided during this celebratory time.

Don’t hesitate to wear red or make the proper greetings during Chinese New Year. You might be the recipient of a red envelope with money and a year filled with good luck.

To watch the full D&I interview: https://youtu.be/w1F9CGt-DpY

Saint Charles, Missouri-based Arrow Senior Living manages a portfolio of communities that offer varying levels of care, including independent living, assisted living, and memory care. Each and every senior living community supports residents by focusing on dignity, respect, and quality of life. The programs and amenities offered are selected to provide only the highest standard of quality and comfort.

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