Lunar New Year at Multnomah County Library is a special time to enjoy the rich history and traditions celebrated in cultures all across Asia. At the end of January or early February, a new lunar calendar year begins, with a zodiac animal guiding each lunar year. This year— 2024 — marks the Year of the Dragon. The library will celebrate Lunar New Year with events and programs at a variety of locations in February.
Sally Li, Chinese library assistant, shares that Lunar New Year brings thoughts of happy and precious memories from past celebrations prior to moving to the U.S. “It is an exciting time to gather with family and those who are nearby.”
Lunar New Year traditions vary by country and region, and can last anywhere from 3 to 16 days. They often include large gatherings consisting of performances, music and fireworks.
Bilingual Vietnamese library assistant, Karen Nguyen says, "In Vietnamese culture, the year of the Dragon symbolizes power, wealth, health and luck. The even number of the year 2024 symbolizes a good year for all."
In Chinese and Vietnamese cultures, the Year of the Dragon is significant because it’s the only zodiac sign that is not an animal. The Dragon represents good luck, strength and bravery.
“The Dragon is the fifth and the only mythical animal in the Chinese zodiac. Traditionally the Dragon is an auspicious animal, which is often associated with bringing good luck, rain and a good harvest. The Dragon stands for leadership,” shares Toan Lam-Sullivan, bilingual regional librarian.
It’s also “the only zodiac sign that is not bound by gravity,” adds Yi Apperson, bilingual Chinese library assistant. ”People are inspired to feel that they are not totally grounded and have all the imagination and abilities to reach the height of their dreams.“
Explore this Lunar New Year booklist and visit a library location to celebrate.