February Monthly Acknowledgements

Our UC Davis community is made up of people from all over the globe, representing many cultures, customs, and experiences. In support of our diverse community we will recognize some of the observances happening each month (presented in no particular order). 

You don't have to be a member of a particular community to participate in celebrating many of the observances.  If you are interested in learning more, we invite you to connect with campus programs, attend events, and ask questions.

If you are observing/celebrating this month we hope the experience is joyful and meaningful.

Black History Month

Black History Month begins on February 1 and is a month to celebrate the achievements of African Americans and recognize their contributions to our nation. It is also a time to raise awareness of the lived experiences of African Americans throughout U.S. history—from the first enslaved peoples to present day.

The Black History Month theme for 2024 is African Americans and the Arts. The theme recognizes the influence of African Americans on all forms of artistic expression including architecture, culinary arts, fashion, film, language, literature, music, and visual and performing arts. African American artists have used art mediums throughout history to bring attention to persistent issues like racial violence and injustice and to encourage cultural pride. This year’s Black History Month theme invites us to explore the varied history and experiences of African Americans through art. The Smithsonian provides a list of art resources and upcoming events that may serve as starting point for the exploration of African American art.

Black History Month provides us an opportunity to focus our attention on learning about African American heritage, culture, and achievements, as well as the continued challenges faced by the African American community. This celebratory month also provides us the opportunity to shift the social narrative by acknowledging how much African Americans have contributed to the shaping of our nation. African American history is U.S. history and recognizing this is necessary to combating racism and bias and achieving social justice.

Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year begins on February 10. It is the most important holiday in China and is celebrated in various countries around the world. Lunar New Year is a special time for feasts and honoring deities and ancestors.

Lunar New Year preparations begin with thoroughly cleaning homes to rid them of unfavorable luck that could have collected in the previous year. Celebrations may include posting signs with lucky messages on doors, offering sacrifices, burning fireworks, and giving lucky money to children in special red envelopes. Extended families gather on New Year’s Eve to share meals that often include fish (a symbol of abundance), as well as noodles (to symbolize long life) and round dumplings (a sign of the family unit and perfection). Lunar New Year celebrations may last up to 15 days and conclude with the Lantern Festival.

Lunar New Year 2024 begins the Year of the Dragon, specifically the Wood Dragon. The dragon is a symbol of power, nobleness, honor, luck, and success in traditional Chinese culture. Past years of the dragon include 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952, etc. Those born in a year of the Dragon are described as courageous, tenacious, intelligent, enthusiastic, and confident.

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