Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Celebrates Lunar New Year

BIDMC Contributor

FEBRUARY 04, 2016

Ushers in the year of the monkey

Lunar New Year 2016ABright red lanterns, paper umbrellas and traditional Chinese music helped usher in the year of the monkey at BIDMC’s annual Lunar New Year Celebration.

According to legend, the Asian Lunar New Year began with a fight against the mythical beast, Nien. To prevent Nien from attacking villagers, people put food outside their doors and hung red lanterns on their homes to frighten him away. Today, the holiday is customarily marked by visiting with family and friends, the exchange of small gifts in red envelopes, firecracker displays and wearing red clothing.

“This event, as well as many others we hold throughout the year, celebrates our diverse BIDMC family,” said Kevin Tabb, MD, President and CEO of BIDMC, as he welcomed guests. “Today we honor not only our workforce, but our patient population as well.”

Lunar New Year_ Liz Cheng_FTabb introduced Master of Ceremonies, Liz Cheng, General Manager for Television at WGBH and a member of BIDMC’s Board of Overseers.

“I think it’s very auspicious that I should be here today, because not only was I born in the Year of the Monkey, but my son was as well,” she said.

Cheng spoke about Lunar New Year traditions, such as eating 12-course meals with family, watching lion dances, receiving lucky red envelopes and making new year’s resolutions.

The first performance of the day was the Lion Dance by the Boston Chinese Freemasons Athletic Club. The lion danced around the auditorium, presented oranges to special guests and showered audience members with lucky candies.

Lunar New Year _Ruth Moy_F Keynote speaker Ruth Moy, Executive Director of the Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center, followed the Lion Dance with a few personal and professional sentiments.

“I’m glad to have this chance to talk about the New Year,” she said. “It’s like Thanksgiving - everyone gets together and has a very good time!”

Moy has led the Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center for more than 40 years and has implemented numerous programs and services to safeguard the well-being and independence of elders. Programming offered to Chinatown’s elders includes social services, day health programs, Chinese style meals served at nutrition sites and free health insurance counseling.

Lunar New Year RTH_F RTH Phoenix Toward the Sun, a singing and dancing group, also performed next. The group is made up of Roxbury Tenants of Harvard Community Center senior center residents, with the oldest member at 85 years old. All smiles, the group of 12 ladies passionately sang two songs a capella style. Three members also performed a traditional fan dance, gracefully moving through the music and showcasing their flexibility and strength.

Qingen Ke, MD, a BIDMC Research Fellow in Cardiology, closed the celebration with a performance of “Deep Night” on a jinghu, a Chinese bowed string instrument. This solo was originally composed for the King of the West Chu’s concubine, Yu, who accompanied the music with a sword dance.

To honor Lunar New Year, BIDMC staff were invited to donate infant and toiletry items to benefit the Emergency Shelter at Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence (ATASK). This organization primarily serves Asian families and individuals who suffer from or are at risk of domestic violence. BIDMC and South Cove Community Health Center often refer individuals and families to ATASK.

About Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School and consistently ranks as a national leader among independent hospitals in National Institutes of Health funding.

BIDMC is in the community with Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth, Anna Jaques Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, Lawrence General Hospital, MetroWest Medical Center, Signature Healthcare, Beth Israel Deaconess HealthCare, Community Care Alliance and Atrius Health. BIDMC is also clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and Hebrew Rehabilitation Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and the Jackson Laboratory. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit