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Everything you need to know about the Chinese New Year.

The Year of the Ox | Chinese New Year 2021

The Chinese New Year is celebrated at the second new moon following the Winter Solstice. It is also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival. This is because according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, this festival marks the end of winter and the beginning of a much awaited spring!

There are many interesting traditions behind this old festival. In ancient China, the dragon was considered as helpful to the community, associated with longevity, fortune and rain. The lucky colour red is everywhere, especially on special envelopes in which money is gifted on New Year’s Eve. The red envelopes are used to symbolize the hope and good luck given to their receivers. One superstition of the festival is to avoid the use of knives, scissors or other sharp objects, as they’re seen to ‘cut away’ luck. On this day, everyone opens their windows and doors so the good luck of the year can get in. Getting a haircut is also thought to be bad luck as the Cantonese word for ‘hair’ means ‘prosperity’, so people worry that by cutting their hair they will make the New Year a bad one.

Lastly, let's not miss the food at Chinese New Year, which is all about bringing families together, sharing and gratefulness. There's actually many layers of symbolism at play when it comes to the New Year dishes: the foods name, how it's prepared, and the way it's served can imbue a meal with extra meaning, making it all the more special. The most common Chinese New Year foods include dumplings, fish, spring rolls, and niangao, longevity noodles and good fortune fruits.

In Chinese culture, each year is named after one of twelve animals of the traditional zodiac. The Chinese believe that people take on the special qualities of the animal of their birth year. Last year was the year of the Rat and this year is the year of the Ox. So, after all the turbulence of the Year of the Rat, a change was much needed — but what does it actually mean for the year ahead? The year of the Ox will be a year of endurance. Ox, an animal that is traditionally toiled in the fields and perceived as a hard worker. Zodiac experts believe the Year of the Ox is a period when hard work will be rewarded even more than usual. The Ox is associated with Yin energy and although it is said that our responsibilities will feel especially heavy this year. This means that working extra hard at something, will get you on top of things no matter how challenging the task may be.

If the zodiac is anything to go by, 2021 is a good year to work on a life goal you have always wanted to achieve but never quite got round to! May good health and fortune follow you always

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