February 1st, 2022, the first day of the new lunar year and the year of the Tiger. The tiger is typically regarded as the king of all beasts in the Asian zodiac and is a symbol of strength, braveness, and vanquishing evil. Nearly 2 billion people around the world celebrate the New Lunar Year and I think that is a powerful thought when thinking about building up motivation and morale in the workplace. Countries that celebrate this holiday include China, Vietnam, Korea (both North and South), Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other Asian communities around the world celebrate this time to come together, share a vision for hope and prosperity for the new year.
As economic developers, we are charged with attracting and supporting diverse populations both in our offices and in the greater community. Learning more about different cultures including their origins, beliefs, and practices will create opportunities for relationship-building and innovation. It brings us, economic developers, closer to our communities and team members while serving and supporting them to share perspectives in a safe and supported environment.
Allow me to share some interesting points as we launch into the year of the tiger.
- Each Asian country celebrates the New Lunar Year differently. It used to be called Chinese New Year where the Chinese population would celebrate with the colors red and gold. Celebrating the New Lunar Year is more inclusive of other Asian nations where this time is about celebrating the coming spring, spending time with family, and eating!
- The Lunar New Year is based on the moon’s 12 phases and each phase is approximately 29 days long. That’s why the Lunar New Year shifts each year.
- Each Lunar Year is represented by a cycle of 12 zodiac animals, Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. You can determine your zodiac animal by identifying the year that you were born. Each animal has different characteristics and there is significant content around horoscopes and predictions for the year ahead.
Many Asian cultures are highly superstitious and will defer to the zodiac and predicted horoscopes to guide their decision-making for the year. As I mentioned above, the Tiger is a symbol of strength, braveness, courage, and vanquishing evil. It’s a positive sign and I choose to believe that this year will be the year that we vanquish the challenges of COVID and embrace courage as we navigate into a new time of prosperity.
Author: Tammy Hwang, B.Comm, (she/her)
Business Development Officer, Global Hamilton
City of Hamilton