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Governor Rauner celebrates Lunar New Year with Chinese students

February 16, 2018, begins the Year of the Dog. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

February 16 begins the Year of the Dog

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (February 5, 2018) – The Lunar New Year is celebrated during the second new moon after the winter solstice and falls on February 16 this year.

According to Chinese legend, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on New Year’s Day. He named the months in order of the 12 animals that arrived.

During the Lunar New Year, families travel near and far to gather and lavishly celebrate the end of the year and welcome in a new year. This will be the Year of the Dog, celebrating traits of the dog, including loyalty, bravery, and responsibility.

Recently, students from one of the Midwest’s largest Chinese schools decorated the Governor’s Office in preparation for the Lunar New Year.

For the second year in a row, students from the Ray Chinese School, located in Lisle, hung ornaments and artwork at the entrance to the governor’s office as part of a Lunar New Year cultural exhibition. The 50 students, ranging from kindergarten through junior high, also sang a Lunar New Year song and recited a poem for the governor and staff. They then hung the poem at the office’s front entrance to bring the governor’s office and the State of Illinois good luck and success in the new year.

The governor, joined by Consul General Hong Lei, praised the students, parents, teachers, and community leaders for helping celebrate the Year of the Dog and continuing to celebrate the rich heritage of the Chinese people.

“I’d like to extend a special thank you to the students for sharing such a special tradition at the governor’s office to help spread the excitement of the Lunar New Year,” Gov. Bruce Rauner said. “This will surely bring good luck to the entire State of Illinois.”

“I am very happy to join Governor Rauner and teachers and students from Ray Chinese School for the Chinese New Year celebration,” said Consul General Lei. “Two thousand eighteen is the Year of the Dog. I wish everyone a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year of the Dog, and a more stable and closer friendship and partnership between China and the State of Illinois!”

Earlier in the day the Governor’s Office hosted a career day in which the students met with Chinese American leaders in business and government as well as members of the Chinese American Bar Association to share in their professional experiences.

“It was a privilege for our students to return and help celebrate the Lunar New Year,” said Ray Chinese School Principal Renjie Fu. “Being able to talk with inspirational Chinese American professionals was a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn about different career paths and encouraged them to maximize their potential and dream big.”


Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.