Jefferson City, MO - To kick-off this year’s Lunar New Year celebrations in Missouri, Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe and the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Director Anna Hui hung a Duì lián (or “Couplet”), one of the most common Chinese decorations hung on front doors during the Lunar New Year celebration, at the ceremonial door of the Missouri Governor’s Office. For the first time, the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities from across Missouri shared videos and photos for inclusion in this virtual statewide celebration.
The Lunar New Year is the most celebrated Asian festival in the world with the largest celebrations taking place in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Korea, and Malaysia. In 2021, the first day of the Lunar New Year is Friday, February 12, initiating the year of the Ox which exemplifies hard work and honesty. Nearly 160,000 Missouri residents identify as being of Asian descent.
“The Lunar New Year celebration has its very roots in an agrarian culture, much like here in Missouri. Missourians share many common values that are highlighted during this cultural celebration, including the importance of family, a desire to see our children succeed, and honesty in dealing with others,” said Missouri Governor Mike Parson.
“During challenging times recognizing and celebrating common values through Lunar New Year celebrations, even virtually, affords us the opportunity to showcase the rich diversity and talents of people across this great state, bringing communities together to foster greater relationships and a deeper understanding of our fellow Americans,” Parson continued.
In previous years, the celebration included cultural performances of traditional songs, dances, and musical instruments held after the banner hanging ceremony at the Capitol. Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many of the celebrations in Missouri will be celebrated virtually this year. To enjoy some of this year’s cultural performances and learn more about Lunar New Year traditions in Missouri, visit https://labor.mo.gov/lunar-new-year.