The Chinese New Year begins today (February 12th), and the festivities will be celebrated for 16 days.
Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year, begins on the first calendar month during the new moon (which is why the dates shift every year). It is celebrated for 16 days, ending on the first full moon, which then segues into the Chinese Lantern Festival (February 26th).
The New Year festival is an age-old tradition that intertwines ancient myths and customs. It was created to help honor deities as well as ancestors. Often, the evening preceding Lunar New Year’s Day is an occasion for Chinese families to gather for an annual reunion dinner. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic parades and social gatherings have been canceled.
While get togethers are being placed on hold this year, many can still follow other traditions. It is said that cleaning is one custom in which the house is thoroughly cleansed in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for incoming good luck. Windows and doors are decorated with red color paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of “good fortune” or “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity”. Other activities include giving money in red paper envelopes.
What is this year’s Chinese Zodiac Sign?
In Chinese astrology, every year is represented by an animal. The cycle is twelve years, with a different animal for each year. In 2021, we are entering the year of the ox! According to Chinese culture, Ox are considered honest and sincere. They are so earnest that they never showboat their talents but are still recognized for their hard work.
Oxen are firm believers that everyone should do their part. They are highly logical and can potentially make great leaders.
Zodiac Ox Years: 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, and 2021.
Lucky things for the Ox Zodiac sign:
- Colors: blue, yellow, green
- Numbers: 1, 4
- Flowers: bamboo and valley lily
- Directions of auspiciousness: East and Southeast
- Directions of wealth: Northwest
- Directions of love: South
- Colors: red, brown
- Numbers: 3,6
Photo by Amanda Moses