Happy Lunar New Year! Xing Nian Quai Le!
February 1, 2022 is the first day of the Lunar Calendar representing the first day of the Year of the Tiger as represented in the Chinese Zodiac. The Chinese Zodiak cycle repeats every 12 years with an animal representing each year. This Year of the Tiger is associated with power, adventure, courage, and justice. As we bid farewell to the Year of the Ox, it is a time of reflection on what has been another challenging year; it has also been an inspiring year as the Illinois human services system continues to support, protect, and serve people across the state. We are grateful for all those who power this system. As always, we know that you will charge ahead with ferocity with strength, proactiveness, and determination.
It is estimated that 1.5 billion people across the world celebrate the Lunar New Year. My family and I celebrate it with the sharing of auspicious foods, spending time with family, and giving children "hong-baos" which are red envelopes filled with money. It has always been joyous time as we sweep away the previous year and welcome in the new year.
As a daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, I honor my ancestors, celebrate traditions, and appreciate the opportunity for renewal the new year brings. Please join me in embracing the qualities of the Tiger as we work towards advancing social, economic, and racial justice in our state and country.
May the vitality of the tiger be a strength to us all in the year ahead.
Grace B. Hou