Lunar New Year, the holiday of new beginnings and the biggest traditional Chinese celebration of the year, begins Friday, Feb. 12.
In China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and South Korea families traditionally host reunion dinners, offices and schools close for a week and there are large community Spring Festival celebrations in China to introduces honored Chinese zodiac of the year. The Lunar year will last until Jan. 31, 2022.
In Asian lore, the Ox came in second to the rat in the great zodiac race. Oxen are seen as symbols of wealth, prosperity, diligence and perseverance.
This year, 2021, is the Year of Metal Ox. There are five elements of the Ox: fire, Earth, metal wood and water. This will be the year of the Metal Ox.An ox year occurs every 12 years. Recent Ox years have been 1961,1973,1985,1997 and 2009. The next year of the Ox will be 2033.
People born in the year of the Ox are believed in Asian culture to be strong, reliable, fair and conscientious, inspiring confidence in others.
They are said to be calm, patient, methodical and trustworthy.
On the flip side the are said to also be very opinionated. They believe strongly in themselves, are stubborn and hate to fail or be challenged.
Famous “ox” include former U.S. President Barrack Obama, George Clooney, Princess Diana, Picasso, Vincent Van Goah, Walt Disney, Charles Lindenburg, Richard Gere, Meg Ryan, Bruce Springsteen, Margaret Thatcher, Robert Kennedy, Paul Walker, Dustin Hoffman, Malala Yousafzai. Paul Newman and Louis Armstrong to name a few.
Celebrating the Lunar New Year is a fun way for families to learn about Chinese culture.
Here are six ways to do it locally:
Feast – Chinese New Year is all about togetherness. Gather with your nearest and dearest, family or friends, to eat prosperity-bearing foods, like fish, dumplings and sticky rice cakes.
Wear Red – In the Chinese culture, the color red brings good luck, and wearing red is even said to drive away evil spirits.
Red Envelopes – Give your loved ones red envelopes with a monetary gift tucked inside as a symbol of good luck in the New Year.
Oranges – Mandarin oranges are a symbol of good luck and are called “golden luck.” Display a bowl of them in your home and serve them as snacks to your children.
Watch Chinese themed films with you family - There are lots of great films that celebrate the Chinese culture, including Joy Luck Club, Mulan, Crazy Rich Asians, The Last Emperor and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.
Chinese Zodiac – See just what the Year of the Ox will bring your way. According to Lunar astrologist this year will be a “holding pattern,” much like 2020, and they suggest everyone “keeping calm and carrying on as best they can,” to “preserve your energy and spirit for better days” the believe are in store for us all in 2022.