Chinese New Year, which is also commonly referred to as the Spring Festival, is the occasion used to mark the turn of the seasons from winter to spring. According to the Chinese calendar, the New Year begins on the first day of the new moon between 21st January and 20th February each year. This year, the first day of the new moon falls on 12th February, on which date the year of the Metal Ox will commence. The Year of the Ox occurs every twelve years, as is the case for each of the twelve animals in the zodiac. Previous years of the Ox include 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973 and 1961 (the last instance of the year of the Metal Ox).

There are several customs and traditions associated with the Chinese New Year. The festival is viewed as a time to honour one’s ancestors and deities, and each region has their own traditions in this respect. Popular traditions include a New Year’s Eve family dinner (sometimes with a heavy emphasis on dumplings), house cleaning (in order to rid the home of any ill-will or bad fortune and to pave the way for incoming good luck) and decorating one’s doors and windows (usually in accordance with a wish or theme for the new year, like happiness, wealth or good fortune). It is part of the Chinese New Year tradition to burn bamboo sticks and fireworks to welcome the new year, and to create as much sound as possible to ward off the evil spirits and bad luck.

According to the Chinese animal zodiac, people born in each year are more likely to have certain characteristics based on the year of their birth.

Those born in the year of the Ox are commonly referred to as Oxes, and are likely to be individuals who have great patience and a desire to contribute to progress. Oxes tend to be individuals who like to create and stick to a plan, as this can be a path that leads to great success when married with their patience and determination. Their most common flaw tends to be their communication skills, as many oxes tend to be stubborn, and do not see the value in exchanging thoughts and ideas with other individuals. This trait is influenced in part by their strong determination and unshakeable faith. When an ox adopts a certain path or a plan of action, one can rest easy knowing they are more than likely to see it through.

Chinese traditions associate certain colours with luck for each animal in the zodiac as well. For the rat, those colours were blue, gold and green. For the ox, on the other hand, those colours are white, yellow and green.

The entire team at Yinyang would like to wish everyone a very happy New Year filled with health, happiness and prosperity!