The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, has more than 4,000 years of history and is the longest holiday of the year. In the 21st century, the national holiday begins on the first of the Lunar Calendar and lasts until the 15th of the first month. In 2021, Chinese New Year begins on February 12th and ends on February 26th with the Lantern Festival.
Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the Chinese New Year vary widely. Often, the evening preceding Chinese New Year’s Day is an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. It is also traditional for every family to thoroughly clean the house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for incoming good luck. Windows and doors are decorated with red colour papercuts and couplets with popular themes of “good fortune” or “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity”. Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes. In about one-third of the Mainland population or 500 million Northerners, dumplings (especially those of vegetarian fillings) feature prominently in the meals celebrating the festival.
According to the Chinese 12-year animal zodiac cycle, the Chinese year beginning in 2021 is the year of the Ox. Each Chinese zodiac year begins on Chinese New Year’s Day.
Chinese Zodiac Year of the Ox
The Ox is the second of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived at his party. The Ox was about to be the first to arrive, but Rat tricked Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived, Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox. Thus, Ox became the second animal.
In Chinese culture, the Ox is a valued animal. Because of its role in agriculture, positive characteristics, such as being hardworking and honest, are attributed to it.
Personality and Characteristics
Oxen are the hard workers in the background, intelligent and reliable, but never those who demand praise. This often hides their talent, but they will gain justified recognition through their hard work ethics.
They believe that everyone should do what’s asked of them and stay within their bounds. Rarely losing their temper, they think logically and make great leaders.
Men born in the Ox year are reliable and trustworthy. They put their entire heart into everything they do. They feel a great responsibility towards their family and have high expectations for their children.
Women born in the Ox year are calm and gentle. They will never surrender to fate and rarely think of choosing an alternative. This no doubt leads to a life of struggles, but they will stick to their choice until the very end. Despite this stubbornness, they have the ability to think and react quickly to whatever is thrown in their path.
Most compatible with Ox: Rat, Snake, Rooster
Rat’s fixed Earthly Branch is water, while Ox is earth. They have complementing personalities as well as holding the same goals in life.
Snake and Rooster fit Ox nicely as well. Not only will Snakes give warmth and romance, but they also offer help and support in work too. Honest and loyal, they can also be attracted to the Rooster’s soft and loving heart.
Least compatible with Ox: Goat, Horse, Dog
The Earthly Branches of Goat and Ox clash strongly. They can tolerate each other’s differences, but there will always be tension.
Horses have a free and wild spirit and may not have a serious attitude toward life. This is the opposite of an Ox’s personality. With Dogs, it’s hard to find common ground.
Oxen often group family and work together. They look for long-term and steady work. Because of this, they are studious in school and perform well in every subject. This helps build strong support for any future career path.
Because of their low-key personality, a stable job is the best for Oxen. Their strong sense of responsibility also makes them the perfect candidate for professional and stressful jobs. These include doctors, lawyers, businessmen and teachers. With their technical skills and effort, they can receive society’s recognition and reach their own standards.
No matter what career they choose, it has to be something they are really interested in. Though they may be okay with any job that fits their skills, they should take the time to find something they love. Only in a stable environment that matches their passions, are they able to find their true calling.
Health and Lifestyle
Like the wild oxen that run freely in the fields, people of the Ox year are healthy and fit. Hospital visits are rare, but this sometimes leads to overconfidence. Neglect during youth will result in problems in the later years.
As workaholics, Oxen will sometimes go days with minimal food and rest, then binge on both.
Most health issues stem from irregular exercise. For a healthy life, they need to remember to take breaks from work, stretch and relax.