2021 is the Year of the Metal Ox – here’s what that means and how you can celebrate
With the festivities of the holiday season and the New Year all wrapped up, you might think the celebrations are over. But, if you’ve ever celebrated the Chinese New Year you know that’s simply not the case! Chinese New Year is a fun celebration for the whole family, packed with tradition, fireworks, great food, and a second chance at those New Year fresh start vibes!
What’s Chinese New Year and how is it celebrated?
Like so much of Chinese culture, Chinese New Year has roots that go back over 3,000 years. Although Chinese New Year's Eve and day fall on the 11th-12th of February this year, the preparations and festivities officially run from the 4th through to the 17th of February.
It’s not just about the fireworks and colourful decorations. This is a time that’s traditionally set aside in the Chinese calendar to celebrate and carve out time with friends and family near and far – enjoying good food together is also a big part of this!
The celebrations start with cleaning the house and shopping for Chinese New Year supplies up to seven days before Chinese New Year’s Eve.
Then, on Chinese New Year’s Eve, families put up spring couplets (poetry written vertically in either black or gold on red paper), enjoy a meal together, give red envelopes or ‘lucky money’ to children and stay up late.
On Chinese New Year’s Day, the fireworks and fire crackers are an important part of the celebrations, along with offerings to the ancestors.
Honouring the ancestors is an essential part of the Chinese New Year celebrations. Family, whether long since departed or recently passed over, are considered to still be present with their living family in spirit. They watch over their loved ones and hear their prayers and communication.
So, when Chinese New Year comes around, acknowledgement of the ancestors and gratitude for influencing your family’s good fortune is a significant part of the tradition.
Paying tribute to the ancestors takes place in the form of a dinner that includes the favourite dishes of the ancestors and other dishes of significance. As this time is both private and sacred, these tributes take place in the family home. A joss stick (incense) serves as a way of greeting and communing with the spirits of the ancestors before the offerings of food are put forward.
After all of the excitement of Chinese New Year’s Day, celebrations continue for another seven days, mostly by way of visiting friends and family.
On the 15th day, which marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations, families visit the Lantern Festival to watch the beautiful floating lights and fireworks displays and eat dumplings, of course.
2021 is the Year of the Metal Ox
In the Chinese zodiac, which cycles through 12 years and their associated animals, we’re moving into the second year of the 12-year cycle: the Year of the Ox. An element is also associated with the animal in each zodiac cycle, with the year 2021 being the element of metal.
So, what does it mean to be in the Year of the Metal Ox?
Have you ever heard the saying, ‘As strong as an ox’?
In 2021, the concept of strength will be related to strengthening relationships, finances, and yes, working hard – but hard work that is equally rewarded.
As well as being hardworking, the metal ox is also considered active and busy.
Think of the ox ploughing the field – this represents a time of abundance, hard, methodical work and patience. The ox ultimately reaps the benefits of the seeds it has sown some time ago. So this year is a good time to lay down some goals you would like to start working towards in the long term.
The energy of 2021 according to the Chinese zodiac
The lucky colours of the ox are yellow and green, which are thought to increase success and abundance. In energetic terms, the ox is a ‘Yin’ year. Yin energy is slow, intentional, and passive. It’s a time for replenishment and nourishment.
The years of the Metal Ox include 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, and of course 2021. People born in these years are said to be reliable, intelligent, confident, calm, gentle and yes, stubborn.
Fusion is built on the principles of ancient Chinese wisdom to achieve harmony in mind, body and spirit. Celebrating Chinese New Year is one of our favourite ways to honour the ancient wisdom of traditional Chinese medicine that we all can benefit so much from.
From the Fusion family to yours, happy Chinese New Year – we hope it’s filled with rewards, abundance and delicious food!