Diversity Matters: Chinese New Year

February 15, 2018  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources,

This week, faculty and staff can help many in the Michigan Medicine community celebrate the Chinese New Year!

The new lunar year — which is set to begin Friday, Feb. 16 — will be the Year of the Dog, according to the Chinese Zodiac.

In respect for the cultural diversity at Michigan Medicine and to better support the patients, families and colleagues who celebrate, here’s what you may not know about this year’s festivities.

How to celebrate

The lunar new year is also known as the Spring Festival and is the single biggest annual celebration in China.

To mark the occasion, many individuals plant new crops in honor of the coming spring. Fireworks are often set off — in fact, more fireworks are set off around the world during Chinese New Year celebrations than any other night of the year — and families reunite to eat a traditional new year’s eve dinner. Often, that meal consists of dumplings, which are also popular as the first meal of the new year.

If a patient requests this item, please refer to his or her registered dietitian nutritionist to see what can be offered at Michigan Medicine.

For individuals celebrating the new year, it is traditional to greet them by saying: “Kung hei fat choy,” which means “congratulations and best wishes for a prosperous new year.”

The Year of the Dog

Each year on the Chinese calendar corresponds with one of the 12 signs of the Zodiac. This year will be the year of the dog.

If you were born in the year of the dog, you are seen as honest and loyal and viewed as the truest friends and most reliable partners of all the zodiac animals. These individuals are known to rarely abandon their friends, family members or colleagues. They are also good at helping others and fixing their own bad habits.

People born in the year of the dog have the lucky numbers of 3, 4 and 9 and their lucky colors are red, green and purple.

Recent years of the dog include: 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970, 1958, 1946.

Mott offers family fun

The Family Center at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital will hold its annual Chinese New Year celebration beginning Friday morning.

The event will feature:

  • A paper lantern craft station
  • Year of the Dog coloring activities
  • Envelopes for kids with chocolate coins inside
  • Themed cupcakes, fortune cookies and mandarin oranges, another traditional food that symbolizes good luck in the new year
  • Disney singers

The event is open to all Michigan Medicine patients and families, so refer them to this festive occasion or stop by yourself for a bit of fun and games. Happy lunar new year!