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Happy Lunar New Year: Here are a few things to know about the holiday

A note from Dr. Aaron J. Griffen, VP of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

There are multiple celebrations throughout the year that showcase the diversity of cultures, backgrounds, religions and experiences in the United States. At DSST, it remains our commitment to showcase and acknowledge the richness of our diversity among our students, staff, families and communities. We want to wish all who celebrate a Happy Lunar New Year - The Year of the Tiger. 

Lunar New Year - 2022

Lunar New Year is one of the most important celebrations of the year among East and Southeast Asian cultures, including but not limited to Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean communities. The New Year celebration is usually celebrated for multiple days. In 2022, Lunar New Year began on Feb. 1.  This year represents the year of the Tiger, which is a part of the Chinese Zodiac that includes: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.  In addition, there are different elements: Earth, Water, Wood, Metal and Fire. For example, Dr. Griff is an Earth Tiger (1974) while his youngest son is a Metal Tiger (2010). Similar to other zodiacs, there are particular traits that define each of the animals and their elements. 

Lunar New Year Traditions

Lunar New Year marks a wide variety of traditions around the world. Some include the cooking and eating of lucky foods and the provision of money to signify luck. You may have noticed the red envelopes given out as gifts by those who celebrate the lunar new year. These envelopes include money in them and represent good luck and wishes for the year ahead.  Foods include Pickled Onions (Vietnam) and kueh kapi or “love letters” (Singapore), which are flakey and crispy sheets layered like a Chinese egg roll.  Lunar New Year is also a time of spring cleaning as well as games such as Yut Nori (Korea), which is a board dice game with wooden sticks being the most traditional, meant to encourage a year of socializing with friends and family.

Like other traditions we celebrate as a nation and as a cornucopia of cultures, Lunar New Year brings families, friends, colleagues and differences together. It is a time of family reunion and hope. Given the experiences in the AAPI community over the last few years, I hope that  the Lunar New Year will bring in great luck and peace for 2022. Join us as we continue to learn about others and the variety of lived experiences we each individually possess. Below are a few resources for us to leverage:


Lunar New Year 2022 Heralds the Year of the Tiger

13 Lunar New Year Traditions Around the World

14 Lunar New Year Gifts

The Origin of Red Envelopes

Video: Lunar New Year Around the World