Celebrating The 2021 Lunar New Year, The Year of The Ox
Marked by the first new moon of the lunisolar calendars, the Lunar New Year is one of the most important holidays in Asia that's celebrated by millions across the world. In 2021, the festivities begin on February 12th and lasts 15 days. It's a holiday that's centered around tradition, family, health, wealth, and luck.
Each year corresponds with one of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. 2021 is the Year of the Ox. Years of the Ox include 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, and 2033. Each person's zodiac sign is decided by their birth year, which can be shown in a Chinese Zodiac Animal Sign Calculator. People with the Chinese zodiac Ox sign are said to be loyal, honest, responsible, hard-working, and logical.
Here are a few common Lunar New Year traditions:
Give Red Envelopes of Money:
These are traditionally gifted from an elder or parent to children and unmarried adults. As part of the tradition, those who receive an envelope ask for it by saying things like 'xin nian kuai le,' or 'Happy New Year,' or 'gong xǐ fā cái,’ which means 'make money in the new year.’
Firecrackers and Dances:
Firecrackers and fireworks commonly get set off throughout Lunar New Year to fend off evil spirits and a mythological monster called Nian, as well as a way to celebrate the coming year. The Lion and Dragon Dance are also an exciting part of most Lunar New Year parades.
Enjoy Time with Family and Friends:
Like many holidays, Lunar New Year often gets spent with family and friends, whether virtual or in-person.
Red decorations are a big part of Lunar New Year's celebrations since they signify wealth and good fortune and, according to Chinese mythology, are the color that the monster, Nian, fears.
Declutter and Start Fresh:
In the days leading up to Lunar New Year's, houses often get cleaned and decluttered to wash away any bad luck from the past year. New clothes are also a part of the holiday celebration as a symbol to start fresh in hopes of a good year ahead.
While this year’s Luna New Year’s celebrations may need to be more socially distanced, there are still many ways that families and friends can celebrate. This could include sending care packages, making DIY lanterns or fortune cookies, and creating a virtual Lunar New Year’s backdrop for video call celebrations.
We, at Nikkei and Mabuhay, wish all Members a very happy, healthy, and prosperous Lunar New Year!