On Wednesday, February 14th, the DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Affirmative Action) team of the UMass President's Office organized a Lunar New Year Celebration at our 50 Washington Office. The event aimed to educate our colleagues about the Lunar New Year and offered them the opportunity to taste some traditional dishes served during this time. Dave Cho, the Chief Procurement Officer, presented to employees, sharing some background on his Korean heritage, and explaining what the Lunar New Year signifies.

A table with candy and fortune cards. A sign says, "Please take a fortune."


2024 is the year of the Dragon, which begins on February 10th, 2024, and ends on January 28th, 2025. In the Thai Zodiac, the dragon is replaced by the naga which is a mythological serpent. Dave Cho conducted a presentation that explained how the Lunar New Year marks the beginning of the new year based on the lunar calendar, starting from the first new moon and ending on the first full moon, 15 days later. He also shared that the Lunar New Year is the largest human migration, with over 200 million people traveling within mainland China to celebrate with family and friends. Dave conducted a trivia session and awarded the winners with a traditional bright, beautiful red envelope containing a small prize.

David Cho presents at a podium with a presenatation up on the screen that says, "Happy New Year," and has Happy New Year in various languages.

Afterward, Dave introduced Nancy Chac, UMPO Fellow, and asked her to share how to say "Happy Lunar New Year" in three different languages. Nancy gracefully pronounced them in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Vietnamese. She also presented another Lunar New Year greeting that meant welcoming wealth and fortune.

Employees stand in the University room, mingling.

The food brought everyone together, and everyone enjoyed sampling some traditional dishes such as Edamame Dumplings, Chicken and Lemongrass Pot Stickers, Spring Rolls, Lo Mein, Bibimbap, and Boba Tea. The room was filled with amazing scents, great conversations, and an overall appreciation for The Lunar New Year. It was a good celebration.

A serving table with various plates of food.