Year of the Ox
Greetings for Lunar New Year! This is a traditional festival for Chinese people, based on the new moon calendar, which is now celebrated in Dublin too.
During the Lunar New Year of 2020, the DBS Journalism Society visited a weekend afternoon of music, dancing and other traditional entertainments from Chengdu, a city in Sichuan Province. Families were thoroughly enjoying the spectacle. We saw traditional dances, magic tricks, formal tea-pouring, puppetry, the Long Silk Dance, the face-changing art, making lollipops from liquid sugar, toy pandas and modern fashion photography in historic scenery.
New Year customs
Trinity College Long Room Hub put on talks last year to celebrate the Year of the Rat. Dr. Isabella Jackson told us that at New Year, children in China usually are given new clothes and help to hang red decorations. Red is a signifier of good luck. Live plants such as orchids are brought indoors but not cut flowers. A red ‘hongbau’ envelope is gifted to children and guests, containing money. Even numbers are considered lucky, but not fours, because the word for four sounds like death. People receive the envelope in two hands and open it later in private. 100 billion digital ‘hongbau’ were sent last year to continue this tradition.
The Rat is the first Zodiac sign, because a story tells that he won a race (to a party given by the Jade Emperor) by getting the ox to carry him and jumping off its head to cross the finish line first. The Ox is the second Zodiac animal. So, 2021 is the Year of the Ox.
Chairman Mao tried to abolish superstition with his Cultural Revolution. People like to follow the traditions of their parents, but don’t necessarily believe the superstitions anymore. Dr. Isabella Jackson told us that we have two controls in Hong Kong and Shanghai, which did not undergo the communist revolution; the people there are very superstitious and respect the Zodiac.
Today, ex-pat Chinese communities enjoy following New Year customs, but stress teaching children the new languages and hobbies they will need to fit in and be successful.
Year of the Metal Ox
The ox is a steady, reliable worker, quietly intelligent but not expecting praise. The balancing forces of yin and yang see Ox as yang. See more characteristics of the Ox and what this year may hold for them.
A child born during the 2021 Year of the Ox will be an Ox on the way.
Not only are there twelve Zodiac animals, but these animals ride a larger cycle meaning that the year of a person’s birth gives more specific detail about their character and life. There are five varieties of each animal depending on the year within the grand cycle. If you were born in:
· 1985 Ox in the sea
· 1997 Ox in the lake
· 2009 Ox inside the gate
· 1961 Ox on the way
· 1973 Ox outside the gate.
So, a child born during the 2021 Year of the Ox will be an Ox on the way. To learn more about these horoscopes, and look up your own animal and birth year horoscope, visit the Fengshui astrology site.
However, the elements of fire, water, earth, air and metal are also important, as a combination of characteristics each year can bring clashes or benefits. 2021 is the Year of the Metal Ox in this way of categorising the Zodiac.
Whatever the new year means for you, enjoy the festival and let’s wish everyone peace, success and prosperity.