Notre Dame Beijing and Hong Kong colleagues reflect on the Lunar New Year

Author: Cory Hankins

Dragon Painting Hr2
Painted by Vivian Zhou, program assistant at Notre Dame Beijing

This year, the Lunar New Year starts on Saturday, February 10, and marks the Year of the Dragon, a symbol of good luck, strength, and health. Of all the animals that comprise the Chinese Zodiac, only dragons are mythical. As a result, they are often the subject of traditional Chinese folklore.

Notre Dame colleagues from Beijing and Hong Kong are sharing reflections on what the Lunar New Year means to them and how they will celebrate the Year of the Dragon.

Learn more about our Beijing and Hong Kong locations.

Vivian Zhou, program assistant at Notre Dame Beijing

"I have always loved Chinese ink painting, but usually practice more landscape painting. I do this as a way of celebrating the Lunar New Year and honoring the beauty of traditional Chinese culture. Ancient Chinese literati liked to use landscapes to express their emotions. The characters on the red seal are auspicious and good wishes and spell 'dragon."

Crystal Yang, project specialist at Notre Dame Beijing
Crystal Yang and her husband Jason

"The year of dragon means a lot to me as I have just started my own family and moved back to my home town this year. It is a milestone year for me. Starting this year, the celebration of the Chinese New Year in her home will be full of laughter and happiness. My family and I wish you all a flourishing year and may your whole family be filled with happiness. Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái, Xīn Nián Dà Jí."

Catherine Leung, director of Notre Dame Hong Kong
Catherine Lr
Catherine Leung, director of Notre Dame Hong Kong and Patrick Yim, assistant violin professor at Notre Dame

"As we welcome the joyous occasion of Chinese New Year, the University of Notre Dame Hong Kong Global Center is delighted to extend our warmest greetings to our ND community, and special welcome our 11 exchange students who have joined us in Hong Kong this Spring semester at HKU, CUHK and HKUST. This festive season holds special significance as we come together to celebrate the traditions, culture, and warm spirit that surrounds the Lunar New Year.

"The Lunar New Year is a time of renewal and new beginnings, filled with vibrant festivities and deep-rooted customs. It is an unforgettable opportunity for our exchange students to witness the city's transformation as it adorns itself in colorful decorations, and to partake in age-old customs such as lion dances, lantern festivals, and family gatherings. It is a time to broaden perspectives, foster cross-cultural understanding, and build connections that transcend borders."

"To our ND family, we extend our heartfelt wishes for a joyous and memorable Lunar New Year. To our exchange students, may your time in Hong Kong be filled with meaningful experiences, deep connections, and a greater appreciation for the diverse cultures that enrich our global community. Kung Hei Fat Choy!"

Jingyu Wang, director of Notre Dame Beijing
Jingyu Wang
Jingyu Wang, director of Notre Dame Beijing

"We are grateful for the opportunity to share the happiness and joy of celebrating Chinese New Year with all. We hope you and your family have a wonderful 2024 ahead and wish you good health. May everything go well for you."