Lunar New Year 2021: Introduction of the Year of the Ox

(CNN) – While parties and travel in much of the world may now be discouraging as Covid-19 casts a shadow over the Lunar New Year for the second year in a row, that doesn’t mean there are no ways we can still mark the occasion.

Lunar New Year falls on February 12 this year, when we say goodbye to the Year of the Rat and open the Year of the Ox.

Here’s a brief guide to the 15-day Lunar New Year / Spring Festival celebration and everything related to it.

The year of the metal ox

The Year of the Ox begins on February 12, 2021.

ROSLAN RAHMAN / AFP / AFP using Getty Images

Although you’ve heard about the 12-year-old Chinese zodiac calendar, which is represented by 12 different animals, it’s actually much more complicated.

He categorizes a year not just as a zodiac. There is also a complex sexual cycle – a combination of one of the 10 heavenly stems and one of the 12 earthly branches.

For example, on February 12, the xin chou year, by sex cycle. “Xin” means the heavenly stem of the metal element, while “chou” is the symbol of the earthly branching of the ox, making it the Year of the Metal Ox.

We asked Hong Kong feng shui master Thierry Chow to share his thoughts on what this means for the coming year.

“The year of xin chou will put a lot of emphasis on the yin metal element,” he says. “The metal element represents anything sparkling, from jewelry to syringe needles. So in 2021, we can see more emphasis in the metal-related industries.

“The ox is a diligent zodiac sign in Chinese culture. It usually means movements, so hopefully the world be less static than last year and move again in the second half of the year. ”

Many people take the 60-year-old calendar very seriously and believe that each person’s own signs of birth will be affected differently by the celestial stems and earthly branches of the year. So the calendar plays an important role in making huge life decisions for the coming year, such as whether to get married or start a business.

The panda cub plays with ox decoration in the Wolong Giant Panda Reserve in Sichuan Province, China.

The panda cub plays with ox decoration in the Wolong Giant Panda Reserve in Sichuan Province, China.

STR / AFP / AFP using Getty Images

Followers believe that for Chinese zodiac signs, luck depends largely on the position of Tai Sui, the stars directly opposite Jupiter.

If your zodiac sign conflicts with Tai Sui – also known as the Grand Duke of Jupiter – in a given year, you may be dealing with disturbances.

“People born in the Year of the Ox face ‘Ben Ming Nian’ – your own zodiac.” Chow says. “So there will be more change and instability in general.”

Some other zodiac will also collide with Tai Su in various ways, he adds. (Find your sign here.) Dragons can engage in challenging friendships, while people born in horse and dog years can engage in more gossip and unexpected affairs.

People born in the Year of the Goat will face Tai Tai (Ying Tai Sui) this year, “meaning they will have to face a huge change,” Chow says.

Nevertheless, followers believe there are ways to improve their luck.

“Some people resolve their clash with Tai Sui by attending ceremonies, such as getting married or attending more positive events,” Chow says.

But the master of feng shui quickly reminds us that this is just a general overview of what the year means to all zodiac animals. In Chinese geomancy, each person’s birthday table consists of many different elements, such as the date and time of their birth, meaning they may relate to the year in a slightly different way.

Lunar New Year preparations during Covid-19

Lunar New Year 2021 The year of the ox

Lunar New Year decorations in Bangkok, Thailand.

MLADEN ANTONOV / AFP / AFP using Getty Images

The epidemic has forced many to change the way they celebrate Lunar New Year.

In China, a number of preparations and ceremonies are expected to take place in practice as the government has asked its citizens not to travel home to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

In response, some tourist sites offer free admission for those who are forced to spend their vacation away from their family. Meanwhile, companies have launched tools for people to “spend a cloud lunar new year,” from virtual markets to conference tools to dinner meetings online.

But no matter how one celebrates, there are many preparations involved if you want to follow the rulebook of the Lunar New Year.

The new year begins in about a week.

Festive cakes and puddings will be made on the 26th day of the last lunar month – February 7 this year. Cakes and puddings mean “gao” in Mandarin and “go” in Cantonese, which sounds the same as high, which means improvement and growth next year.

The major cleanup will be done on the 28th, i.e. February 9 this year.

Lunar New Year lucky banners will be suspended on February 29th, the 29th.

2021 lunar new year The year of the ox

The Year of Metal Ox begins on February 12th.

ROSLAN RAHMAN / AFP / AFP using Getty Images

Normally, Lunar New Year fairs are held in the last days of the lunar year, which sell most trinkets and flowers for the new year. But because of the epidemic, many cities have downsized or canceled their ceremonies.

The year usually ends with a big family reunion dinner on Lunar New Year, which falls on February 11th this year.

The menu is carefully selected to include foods related to luck, including fish (the Chinese word means “surplus”), puddings (symbolizing progress), and foods that look like gold bars (like dumplings).

After the holiday, families stay after midnight to welcome the new year.

The whole festival lasts for 15 days

Lunar New Year 2021 Year of the Ox

Peach blossoms are shown along a street in Hanoi before Lunar New Year – or Tet, as referred to there.


Although many Western nations call Lunar New Year / Spring Festival a Chinese New Year, keep in mind that it is celebrated not only in Chinese-Chinese communities around the world, but also in other Asian nations such as Vietnam and South Korea.

Lunar New Year countries often offer three- to seven-day public holidays, but the celebration only takes place on the 15th day of the first lunar month, also known as the Lantern Festival. (Lunar New Year 2021 runs from February 12 to February 26.)

Families usually have different rules and traditions, but most bless each other with favorable words like “san tai gin hong” or “shen ti jian kang” (I wish you good health).

In normal times when people are not closed, they are expected to visit their relatives and friends during the festival – except for the third day of the month. The third day of the Lunar New Year (which falls on Valentine’s Day this year) is called chi kou or red mouth. It is believed that reasoning is more likely on this day, so people visit churches and avoid social interactions.

Lunar New Year 2021 The year of the ox

Red ribbons with favorable sayings and texts are suspended on the 29th day of the last lunar month.

SAM YEH / AFP / AFP using Getty Images

There are plenty of other rules and superstitions associated with the Lunar New Year. For example, do not wash or cut your hair on the first day of the new year. The Chinese hair character is the first character of the word flowering. Therefore, laundering or cutting off is considered a laundering of property.

He also wants to avoid buying footwear for the entire lunar month, as the term shoe (haai) in Cantonese seems like a loss and a sigh.

However, wear red. It is related to luck and prosperity. (You can read the information and prohibition of the Lunar New Year here.)

During the festival, hosts will make candy boxes and snacks for their guests. Couples are expected to hand out money-packed red packages to children and unmarried adults to wish them luck.

The seventh day (February 18) is said to be the day when the Chinese mother goddess Nuwa of China created humanity and is thus called renri (the birthday of the people).

Different communities in Asia serve different birthday dishes on this day. For example, people in Malaysia enjoy yeesang, i.e. the “prosperity throw” of raw fish and chopped vegetables, while Cantonese people consume sweet rice balls.

Lunar New Year 2021 The year of the ox

On the 15th day of the festival, many go out and admire the lanterns.

STR / AFP / AFP using Getty Images

The highlight will follow on the last day (February 26). In ancient Chinese society, this was the only day when young girls went out to admire the lanterns and meet boys. Thus it was also called Chinese Valentine’s Day.

Today, cities around the world are still hosting huge lamp shows and fairs on the last day of the festival.