UW Combined Fund Drive

January 31, 2022

The Year of the Tiger: Celebrating Lunar New Year and Elevating AANHPI Voices

Red picture with a tiger and flowers saying 2022 Year of the tiger.

Lunar New Year, also known as Chunjie, Tết, Solnal, or Losar, begins with the first new moon and ends on the first full moon of the lunar calendar, 15 days later. While the dates of this celebration vary each year (because the lunar calendar is based on the cycles of the moon), this year, Asian countries and communities around the world will be celebrating the start of the Lunar New Year on February 1, 2022. 


Chinese New Year is an extremely significant holiday in China and has greatly influenced Lunar New Year celebrations among countries across Asia, such as Vietnam, Korea, and Tibet; it is also celebrated worldwide in countries with large Chinese populations, including Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, the United States, and many more. 

Through centuries of China’s agrarian tradition, the Lunar New Year was the one period when farmers could rest from their work in the fields. The cyclical pattern of agricultural production has been closely linked for millennia to the marking of the passage of time in China. 

Families would gather from all distances to be with loved ones during this time to depart the old year and welcome in the new. With the lunar calendar dating back from the third millennium BCE, Chinese people have been building New Year customs and traditions for thousands of years.  

The origins of the Lunar New Year festival are thousands of years old and are rooted in legends; one legend is of a hideous beast, called Nian, who was believed to feast on human flesh on New Year’s day. Because Nian feared the color red, loud noises, and fire, red paper decorations were pasted to doors, lanterns were burned all night, and firecrackers were lit to frighten the beast away. 


Lunar New Year traditions vary and are diverse within the Asian cultures that celebrate this significant holiday. Typically, approximately 10 days before the beginning of the new lunar year, many families thoroughly clean their homes to remove any bad luck that might be lingering inside, a custom called “sweeping of the grounds.” 

On New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day, family celebrations and religious ceremonies honoring ancestors are the main events.

Also, on New Year’s day, family members receive and exchange red envelopes containing small amounts of money, symbolizing good wishes and luck in the new year. Dances, fireworks, and firecrackers are prevalent throughout the holidays, culminating in the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated on the last day of the New Year’s celebrations.  

The Year of the Tiger 

Lunar New Year this year, on February 1st, brings in the Year of the Tiger – third in the 12-animal Chinese zodiac cycle. People born in the Year of the Tiger are predicted to be brave, competitive, confident, and passionate. It’s speculated that this new year, the Year of the Tiger will bring in achievements, overcoming challenges, and determination in all aspects of life.  

Strengthening AAPI Communities 

In recognizing the new and hopeful year that is about to come for many Asian communities, it is equally important to acknowledge the challenges these same communities have faced especially since the beginning of the pandemic, as a result of the increasing AAPI hate crimes.

Between March 2020 and June 2021, there were a total of 9,081 reports of hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the United States; of those 9,081 incident reports, 4,548 hate incidents occurred in 2020 and 4,533 hate incidents occurred in 2021.

Learn more: UWCFD’s AANHPI Resource Page

Today in San Francisco, CA, a city considered to be racially diverse, the city’s police department revealed that the number of people who reported being victims of anti-hate crimes in the city in 2021 increased by 567% compared to 2020. These statistics are frightening, and in working to uplift AAPI voices and stop Asian hate, we must stand united against the racism and discrimination that continues to persist in our society. 

Get Involved 

Participate in Lunar New Year celebrations within our Seattle Community: 

Follow the #StopAsianHate Movement and stay updated on current events. 

Check out the National Park Service exploration of AANHPI stories.


ACRS (Asian Counseling and Referral Services) food bank support: Tasks include prepping food bags for delivery, assembling and packaging food, and loading/unloading food from delivery vehicles.

Volunteer for Helping Link, which empowers Vietnamese Americans and assists with social adjustment, family stability, and self-sufficiency while nurturing community service and youth leaders.


Consider making a one-time contribution or setting up payroll deduction to one of our CFD member organizations working to advance human rights and justice for AA and NHPI people:

API Chaya (charity code 0320806): envisions a community free from violence. The mission of the Asian and Pacific Islander Women and Family Safety Center is to organize communities, educate, train, and provide technical assistance and comprehensive culturally relevant services.

Asian American Justice Center (charity code 1479276): Our mission is to advance civil and human rights for Asian Americans and to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all.

Asian Counseling and Referral Service (charity code 0320807): Nationally recognized organization offering an array of human services and behavioral health programs to Asian Pacific Americans. 

Interim Community Development Association (ICDA) (charity code 0316558): We are a community development group promoting, advocating, and revitalizing the Chinatown/International District and other Asian/Pacific Islander communities in the Puget Sound area for the benefit of low- and moderate-income residents and communities.

International Community Health Services (ICHS) (charity code 0456713): provides culturally and linguistically appropriate health services to improve the health of Asian Pacific Islanders and the broader community.

Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (charity code 1480374): is the nation’s largest non-profit organization devoted to providing college scholarships for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders AAPI. APIASF works to create opportunities for students to access, complete, and succeed after post-secondary education thereby developing future leaders who will excel in their career, serve as role models in their communities, and will ultimately contribute to a vibrant America.

SafeFutures Youth Center (charity code 0350027): Comprehensive services for primarily SE Asian, East African, African American, and Pacific Islander youth and their families including case management, crisis intervention, school advocacy, employment, cultural, and multilingual services.

Wing Luke Asian Museum (charity code 0315161): The Museum engages Asian Pacific Americans and the public in exploring issues related to APA art, history and culture through exhibitions, outreach, research and publications.

Contributed by UWCFD student intern Katerina Dang. Katerina hails from the Bay Area and is a senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Global Health. She hopes to be in graduate school in fall of 2022 earning a Master of Public Health in Health Management.