Diversity Matters: Lunar New Year

February 5, 2019  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources,

One of the globe’s largest festivals kicks off today, as more than 20 percent of the world’s population begins celebrating the Lunar New Year.

The holiday is also known as the Spring Festival.

To better support patients, families and colleagues who may be celebrating, here’s what you may not know about this year’s festivities.

Meaningful traditions

More fireworks are set off on the Lunar New Year than any other day worldwide. But it’s the quieter moments of the celebration that are often more meaningful.

That’s because families traditionally come together every New Year’s Eve for a feast comprised of offerings representing good blessings for the year ahead. For instance, spring rolls are eaten as a sign of the coming of spring and serve as a blessing for wealth and prosperity. Meanwhile, a whole chicken is often served to represent reunion and rebirth.

Should a patient request certain food items, consult his or her registered dietitian nutritionist to see what can be offered at Michigan Medicine.

The Year of the Pig

Every year on the lunar calendar corresponds with one of the 12 signs of the Zodiac. 2019 will be the Year of the Pig.

If you were born in the Year of the Pig, you are thought to be energetic and enthusiastic. Pigs are seen as gentle and very rarely lose their temper. And while these individuals do not typically stand out in a crowd, they are believed to be very realistic and carry with them a strong work ethic.

People born in the Year of the Pig have the lucky numbers of 2, 5 and 8 and their lucky colors are gray, yellow and brown.

Recent Years of the Pig include: 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971, 1959 and 1947.

Enjoy the festivities

While Lunar New Year begins today, it lasts for 15 more days.

At any point during that time, friends and family may exchange gifts, celebrate at parties and pass along well wishes.

And they can do the same at Michigan Medicine – especially in the Mott Family Center.

All day today in the family center, children and families will be able to participate in a make-your-own lantern project while enjoying snacks, goodies and other good luck charms.

And if you see anyone celebrating across the academic medical center, it is traditional to offer them “congratulations and best wishes for a prosperous new year.”