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Celebrating Lunar New Year

I have lived in Ireland for 13 years and nearly half of that time has been spent with Workhuman®. I am proud to work here as a senior software engineer where we are encouraged to bring our whole selves to work. At Workhuman, we respect every culture, and the company is full of imagination and innovation.  

2020 has been a strange year for everyone, including myself and my team members. However, as a company we are still just as committed to making work more human and sharing positivity around the world. For example, I worked as a software engineer on our Thank You Healthcare product which we launched at the beginning of the pandemic. I feel so proud to be a part of something that appreciates the humans that have done so much for us  during the pandemic! 

(Last year's celebrations in the office)

As well as working hard, we celebrate often. Everything from life’s most memorable occasions to national and international traditions and holidays.  

One of these being the Lunar New Year, which is a tradition of mine. I remember last year celebrating in the office with everyone gathering in the café to see decorations displayed and a selection of food to try. It really was a moment of surprise and delight. I was proud to see a tradition of mine brought to life at work – it really meant a lot to me. 

 The Lunar New Year is a 15-day festival marking the first new moon of the lunisolar calendars. It is a tradition in many East Asian countries kicking off on New Year's Eve with a family feast called a Reunion Dinner, full of traditional Lunar New Year foods, and culminates with the Lantern Festival. It is a time for new beginnings and gathering with family and friends to mark the special occasion. The date changes every year and this year falls on Friday, February 12th. 

(The traditional foods we had last year)

The Lunar New Year marks the transition from one animal to the next, with this year being the year of the Ox. This is the second of the zodiac animals.  According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to the party. The Ox was about to be the first to arrive, but the Rat tricked the Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived, the Rat jumped down and landed ahead of the Ox. Thus, the Ox became the second animal. In Chinese culture, the Ox is a valued animal. Because of its role in agriculture, positive characteristics such as being hardworking and honest are attributed to it (Oxen are the hard workers in the background, intelligent and reliable, but never demanding praise.) 

This year’s celebrations will of course be different but in order to stay safe and stay healthy we must follow government guidelines by staying apart. Instead, I will keep connected with my family and friends with a video call and we will cheers to new beginnings and a happier time ahead. I believe that this year brings hope and I am looking forward to reuniting with friends and family to celebrate properly as soon as we can! 

Xin nian kuai le 新年快乐 (Happy Lunar New Year!) 

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