On the 12th of February a new year starts. The Chinese New Year. Also known as the Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year. 2021 is the year of the ox. It is celebrated by more than 20% of the world. The holiday takes about 16 days. The main festivities started on the Little Year on the 4th of February, the Spring Festival officially starts on the 12th of February and it will end with the Lantern Festival on the 26th of February. There is a full program for the official beginning from New Year’s Eve till the Lantern Festival. Including clothes to wear, decorations for the house, food, drinks, snacks and red pockets to give.
In Asian countries like China and Vietnam it is an important holiday. It is the start of a new beginning. People clean their houses and buy new clothes. Streets are decorated and dances are being performed. Fireworks are being used to scare away the evil spirits. Chinese go to the temple to pray. They celebrate it mainly with their family.
The Chinese zodiac plays a much bigger role than in Western cultures. Your animal can decide your career, health and relationship success. The ox is the second animal in Chinese zodiac, which has 12 animals. People who are born in 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009 en 2021 are an ox. According to a myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which the animals would arrive at his party. The ox was about to be the first to arrive, but the rat tricked ox into giving him a ride. As they arrived, the rat jumped and landed ahead of ox. So became the ox the second animal.
If you celebrate this festival, I wish you a happy new year and all the best! If you don’t celebrate it, then try to do something small to celebrate it. For me, in the past I didn’t care much about traditions and celebrations. But now we can easily stay in touch with everyone in the world, you always have a friend or relative who does celebrate it. Now I use holidays and celebrations more in a way of being grateful. To appreciate what you have. To be mindful and in the moment. It is also fun to celebrate other festivals. So go to the local Asian supermarket, buy some sweets and celebrate it at home! Drink a green tea or oolong tea, eat a sesame ball and peanut candy and listen to Chinese music. Happy New Year!