The Chinese New Year: All About the Year of the Ox!
On January 1st we celebrated the beginning of 2021, but the New Year's celebrations aren't over yet. There is still another New Year to celebrate, the Chinese New Year! The Chinese New Year marks the first new moon on the lunar calendar, which encompasses 12 full lunar cycles. This year the first day of the lunar new year is February 12, 2021, and its corresponding animal on the Chinese zodiac will be the Ox.
The Chinese Zodiac consists of 12 animals: The rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig, each animal corresponding to one year in a 12 year cycle and each with its own unique personality and characteristics! Based on your birth year, you can figure out your zodiac animal.
For those who were born in an ox year, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, your Chinese zodiac sign is the ox 牛(niú)! Happy Ox Year! The personality of the ox is dependable, stalwart and diligent. This is a strong sign, and Oxen are known to be good leaders and very family and relationship oriented. This year the element of the ox is metal.
According to the Zodiac, the Ox is most compatible with Rat, Monkey and Rooster, and least compatible with Tiger, Dragon, Horse and Sheep. Some lucky colors for the ox are red and blue.
New Year's celebrations will last for approximately 15 days. To celebrate Chinese New Year families gather together to enjoy many special traditions. They clean the house thoroughly to rid themselves of bad luck and make room for the good and decorate the house with lovely and (lucky!) red decorations. They cook and enjoy special foods like rice cakes, dumplings, and steamed fish and chicken, and also celebrate with firecrackers, parades and other rituals designed to usher out bad luck and usher in good luck and fortune for the year. Older family members also gift red envelopes containing money, known as 红包 (hóng bāo), to the younger generations as a blessing and wish for good luck.
Chinese New Year is a time of positivity, excitement and new beginnings. After a tough 2020, the dependability, dedication and trustworthiness of the ox is a great way to usher in a new, and hopefully much more positive year. And though celebrations may look different this year than past years, there are still ways you can celebrate the fun and welcome the new year.
Try wishing someone "新年快乐 (xīnnián kuàilè)," which means Happy New Year in Mandarin Chinese! Celebrate virtually with family and friends and try cooking some traditional new year's dishes, or try your hand at making some paper crafts. You can also try making and gifting a printable card, a fun way to celebrate the Chinese new year with friends and family. No matter how you choose to celebrate, we wish you a very happy and prosperous 2021! 新年快乐!