Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is seamlessly enmeshed within Chinese culture, so I believe that as acupuncturists it is in our best interest to learn as much as we can. Taking the time to learn about Chinese history brings more clarity and adds to the framework that TCM provides. February 1, 2022 was the first day of the Lunar New year, it is also the year of the Tiger. As the chair for the Acupuncture Oriental Medicine Student Association (AOMSA), I thought it was only fitting that we acknowledge this traditional holiday on campus.
The E-board and I brainstormed and were able to organize something despite our COVID limitations. Dr. Fan was kind enough to lend her cultural knowledge so that we could be as culturally accurate as possible. There are so many beautiful traditions that we discussed. I think most people are familiar with the gifting of red envelopes. Traditionally this is a custom where a beautifully decorated envelope is given (with crisp money within) and is associated with good luck and prosperity. The most common scenario where this ornate gift is given or exchanged is from parents to child, when visiting family & friends, and even from employer to employees (1).
Dr. Fan also shared some other foods that are often enjoyed like nian gao. This sweet rice cake is considered good luck as it symbolizes prosperity and longevity for the year to come. Keep in mind that foods and traditions may vary depending on province or country. AOMSA had an enjoyable time, thank you to all who stopped by. Check out all the snow we recently received here in the Chicagoland area, and good luck to all the students on this upcoming week of exams.