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Chinese New Year 2021 – The Year of the OX – Family Reunion and Guanxi

Updated: May 4, 2021

by Dr Renée Ralph and Dr Amy Tian

Friday, 12 February 2021 is the day where millions of Chinese and Asians are looking forward to celebrating. It is the Year of the Ox where families and loved ones reunite in feasting and merry making for 15 days. The second animal of the Chinese zodiac, the Ox represents hard work, positivity and honesty in all of us.

Jupiter Lai, a Hong-Kong based Chinese and Western astrologer, says the ox is “grounded, loyal, gentle and trustworthy.”

Following the Chinese calendar, which rotates in 60-year cycles based on 12 earthly branches, each represented by an animal year, and five element years — wood, fire, earth, metal and water — 2021 is the Year of the Metal Ox. On a deeper level, each earthly branch is characterised by a yin or yang force and an element.

Chinese New Year vs Lunar New Year

When speaking English, most Chinese people refer to the holiday as “Chinese New Year,” or the more inclusive “Lunar New Year.” In Mandarin, the Lunar New Year is also called Spring Festival (pinyin: chun jie, traditional Chinese: 春節/simplified Chinese: 春节) or guo nian (traditional Chinese: 過年/simplified Chinese: 过年).

During Chinese New Year, individuals can say Happy New Year (pinyin: xin nian kuai le, traditional Chinese: 新年快樂/simplified Chinese: 新年快乐) or wishing you prosperity (pinyin: gong xi fa cai, traditional Chinese: 恭喜發財/simplified Chinese: 恭喜发财) to Chinese.

The Top 8 Traditions of Chinese New Year

1. Spring Cleaning

It is truly an auspicious event, where preparations are made at home. Cleaning the home, getting it spick and span, getting rid of stuff that is no longer require and keeping the home – neat and tidy. It is not good to clean the house during the Chinese New Year Period from 12-25 February, as it means the luck and fortune will be swept away.

2. Personal Grooming and New Outfits

On a personal front, grooming is important prior to the Chinese New Year, getting haircuts is vital and wearing a new set of brightly coloured clothing, in particular red to bring prosperity, wealth and health for 2021. Cutting the hair during this period is also not feasible, as it represents cutting your wealth or good fortune away.

Qi Pao now known as Cheongsam