Lunar New Year will be recognized on February 12, 2021 as we welcome in the Year of the Ox. According to the Chinese Zodiac, folks that are born into a Year of the Ox (2009, 1997, 1985, 1973…) will posses the characteristics of patience, strength, resilience, and stubbornness. Based on the ancient Chinese lunisolar calendar, Lunar New Year begins with the second new moon after the winter solstice, typically occurring between the end of January and end of February. Typically, Lunar New Year is celebrated across 15 days in China, though other Asian countries have adopted their own festivals.

In Chinese tradition, the origin of Lunar New Year comes from the legend of Nian, a beast believed to arise just before the end of each lunar year to devour livestock, crops, and villagers. The villagers came to discover Nian was afraid of the color red, loud noises, and bright lights and so they would hang red lanterns and scrolls from their homes and light candles or fireworks to defend from Nian every year.

Due to migration across the world, Lunar New Year has taken on many traditions for Asian and Pacific Islander communities. For example, some may clean their homes to get rid of bad spirits while others may eat certain foods such as yuan xiao. Parents and elders gift children with red envelopes called hóng bāos in Mandarin or lai see in Cantonese, which offers the hope of luck and prosperity in the new year. Across all these traditions are underlying collectivistic values of connecting with family and community to find better fortunes for the new year.

We welcome you to join Asian Pacific American Student Services (APASS) as we celebrate the year of the Ox at this year’s Lunar New Year celebration with the following events!

On Friday, February 19 at 4:00 p.m., APASS will be hosting a Zoom demonstration on the cultural significance of red envelopes. Each participant will receive education and instructions on how to create your own red envelope.

Red Envelope Registration
Upon registration, we will share directions for how to pick up your activity kit, which will also contain a fortune or small prize, at one of our UNC-Greeley campus locations.


On Saturday, February 20 at 1:00 p.m., APASS will host a virtual short film screening, followed by a Q&A with some of the directors. The short film series includes the following amazing films:

  • Mother Tongue a short film by Eris Qian, is about a second-generation Chinese American woman named Lisa Lin. Lisa connects with her roots when faced with her mother's loss of the English language due to Alzheimer's. Lisa must navigate how to communicate with their mother as their common language is stripped away by her mother's Alzheimer's.
  • The Lions of Chinatown a short film by Law Chen explores the story of a young woman's journey who is training to fill the position of the lion's head for a notorious lion dance crew in New Year City, a traditionally male-dominated position.
  • Disney Pixar's, Bao is about a Chinese mother whose grown son leaves her home and she experiences an empty nest. She encounters a second chance as motherhood when her handmade dumpling comes to life. Her dumpling then begins to grow up fast and she is faced to understand not everything can stay small and cute forever.

Short Film Series Registration

Links with access to the films will be emailed upon registration.


Lastly, if you have not had a chance, please follow our social media platforms for information and notifications on upcoming events!


Asian Pacific Student Services (APASS)

AsianPacificAmerican.StudentServices@unco.edu | 970-351-1909
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