Chinese New Year – Year of the Metal Ox – February 12, 2021

Chinese New Year is on February 12, 2021 and is celebrated for up to 16 days. The festival signifies the beginning of spring and a new year according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar. We are transitioning from the Year of the Rat to the Year of the Ox. The message for this year: Success will come to those who work hard. 🎎🐂🧧

The story of the Ox: According to some old mythological traditions, there was a race held by a great deity to determine which creatures, in which order, would be the namesakes of the twelve-year cycle. The race was run, and swum, the finishing line being across a great river. The Rat and the Ox crossed easily enough, the Ox due to being large, powerful, and adept both on land and in water: the Rat asked the good-natured Ox for a ride on its back, but then ungratefully jumped off at the last minute to cross the finish line first. 🐀🐂

In preparation for the new year, the Chinese will clean their homes and put up red decorations and lanterns. The celebrations will then officially kick off with a New Year’s Eve family dinner, with fish and dumplings being served to encourage prosperity. Shou Sui, which translates as “after the New Year’s Eve dinner”, follows the traditional feast, where families stay awake throughout the night and gather for fireworks at midnight to banish evil. Adults typically give children red packets containing money at Chinese New Year, to help them avoid evil and wish them good health. 🏘🎇🏮

These are things to try to avoid during Chinese New Year: Taking medicine, eating porridge, doing laundry, washing hair, using knives or scissors, leaving the house, sweeping, theft, debt, an empty rice jar, damaged clothes, animal blood, white or black clothing, giving gifts of clocks, scissors, and pears.

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