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After being forced to cancel its Lunar New Year event for a winter storm, Missouri officials create videos to celebrate instead

Missouri state officials celebrate the Year of the Rabbit and highlight contributions from St. Louisans.
Credit: TEEREXZ - stock.adobe.com
Chinese red lantern in the night of Chinese New Year of happiness and golden light.

ST. LOUIS — The Lunar New Year is celebrated for multiple days across several cultures. In 2023, it started on Jan. 22 and typically lasts for 15 days.

China's Lunar New Year is known as the Spring Festival while Koreans call it Seollal. Vietnamese communities refer to it as Tet. The holiday is the most celebrated Asian festival in the world with the largest celebrations taking place in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Korea, and Malaysia.

And while you may hear it widely called the year of the rabbit, it is known as the year of the cat in other cultures. 

Nearly 185,000 Missourians identify as being of Asian descent and currently call the Show Me State home. Governor Mike Parson signed a proclamation to celebrate the Lunar New Year as a way to share common values like the importance of family and to showcase the rich diversity and talents of people across the state.

The first Lunar New Year celebration ever held at the Missouri state capitol building was hosted in 2018 by Anna Hui, the state's director of the department of labor and industrial relations. Hui was appointed to the position in 2017 and has been growing awareness of Asian American contributions to Missouri ever since. And each year, the celebrations grow as well.

The in-person celebration was canceled in Jefferson City this year because of a winter weather storm, but the state made videos to celebrate traditions like hanging the Chinese Fu on the doors of the governor's office to showcasing the St. Louis Chinese Language school lion dancers. The state also made videos to feature the significance of eating dumplings and making noodles with the help of St. Louis' popular restaurant Corner 17. 

To learn more about the resources made available by the state of Missouri, click here, including past celebrations and explainers.

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