The Chinese New Year will be celebrated on February 12, 2021 ushering in the Year of the Ox. The Chinese New Year, also referred to as the Spring Festival and the Lunar New Year, begins on the date of the second new moon after the winter solstice in China. This means that the first day of the Chinese New Year can occur between January 21st and February 20th.
There are many traditions and superstitions that coincide with the Chinese New Year. People will eat lucky food, while avoiding unlucky food, clean their homes prior to the Chinese New Year, but not on the day of the New Year out of fear of sweeping away possible wealth, and will give and receive red envelopes with crisp money, while steering clear of unlucky gifts. In order to fully understand what’s required to celebrate the Chinese New Year the right way, this deep dive will examine the dos and don’ts, as well as how the Chinese New Year relates to the zodiacs.
How The Chinese New Year Relates To The Zodiacs
Twelve animals represent the Chinese zodiac signs or sheng xiao, which translates to “born” plus “resemblance.” The popularity of Western astrology’s horoscopes has made people interested in what the different zodiac signs mean for people on an individual level. As such, we’ll go through the Chinese zodiac signs in order, and take a closer look at the zodiac animals and their meanings. We’ll examine the birth years that correspond to each animal in the Chinese zodiac and the personality traits that go along with them. And in case you were wondering, your zodiac year is actually considered unlucky. So, you should be extra careful during the year of your birth animal and will probably want to avoid any major changes in your life like starting a business, getting married, or buying a new house.
Personality Traits: You are ambitious, sincere, and can be generous with your money. Other traits include being charming, talkative, resourceful, private, frugal, and critical. The rat is compatible with the dragon and the monkey, and the rat’s opposite is the horse.
Birth Years: 2020, 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948, 1936, 1924, 1912, 1900
Personality Traits: You are a leader who is bright, patient, and cheerful. Other traits include being diligent, gentle, hardworking, reliable, patient, materialistic, and stubborn. The ox is compatible with the snake and the rooster, and the ox’s opposite is the sheep.
Birth Years: 2021, 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961, 1949, 1937, 1925, 1913, 1901
Personality Traits: You are forthright, sensitive, possess great courage, and have the ability to be a strong leader capable of great sympathy. Other traits include being confident, brave, magnetic, idealistic, thrill-seeking, arrogant, and selfish. The tiger is compatible with the horse and the dog, and the tiger’s opposite is the monkey.
Birth Years: 2022, 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962, 1950, 1938, 1926, 1914, 1902
Personality Traits: You are talented, affectionate, and are a seeker of tranquility. Other traits include being kind, sensitive, artistic, romantic, judgmental, timid, and refined. The rabbit is compatible with the sheep and the pig, and the rabbit’s opposite is the rooster.
Birth Years: 2023, 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951, 1939, 1927, 1915, 1903
Personality Traits: You are robust, passionate, and your life is filled with complexity. Other traits include being outspoken, energetic, generous, intelligent, a perfectionist, egocentric, and impatient. The dragon is compatible with the monkey and the rat, and the dragon’s opposite is the dog.
Birth Years: 2024, 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952, 1940, 1928, 1916, 1904
Personality Traits: You are strong-willed, intense, and display great wisdom. Other traits include being clever, curious, alluring, wise, anxious, calculating, and jealous. The snake is compatible with the rooster and the ox, and the snake’s opposite is the pig.
Birth Years: 2025, 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965, 1953, 1941, 1929, 1917, 1905
Personality Traits: You are popular, like the company of others, and are physically attractive. Other traits include being amusing, enthusiastic, independent, persuasive, irresponsible, moody, and opportunistic. The horse is compatible with the tiger and the dog, and the horse’s opposite is the rat.
Birth Years: 2026, 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942, 1930, 1918, 1906
SHEEP or GOAT (WEI)
Personality Traits: You are stylish, aesthetic, and enjoy being a private person. Other traits include being easygoing, empathetic, creative, cheerful, disorganized, impulsive, and lazy. The sheep or goat is compatible with the pig and the rabbit, and the sheep or goat’s opposite is the ox.
Birth Years: 2027, 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967, 1955, 1943, 1931, 1919, 1907
Personality Traits: You are intelligent, skillful, persuasive, and strive to excel. Other traits include being entertaining, intelligent, optimistic, sociable, fickle, secretive, and unpredictable. The monkey is compatible with the dragon and the rat, and the monkey’s opposite is the tiger.
Birth Years: 2028, 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968, 1956, 1944, 1932, 1920, 1908
Personality Traits: You seek wisdom, truth, and have a pioneering spirit. Other traits include being adventurous, charitable, funny, loyal, argumentative, boastful, and self-involved. The rooster is compatible with the snake and the ox, and the rooster’s opposite is the rabbit.
Birth Years: 2029, 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969, 1957, 1945, 1933, 1921, 1909
Personality Traits: You are generous, loyal, and have the ability to work well with others. Other traits include being helpful, honest, trustworthy, unselfish, pessimistic, anxious, and timid. The dog is compatible with the horse and the tiger, and the dog’s opposite is the dragon.
Birth Years: 2030, 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970, 1958, 1946, 1934, 1922, 1910
Personality Traits: You are gallant, noble, and your friends will always remain at your side. Other traits include being caring, generous, smart, outgoing, fearful, impatient and materialistic. The pig is compatible with the rabbit and the sheep, and the pig’s opposite is the snake.
Birth Years: 2031, 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971, 1959, 1947, 1935, 1923, 1911
Chinese New Year Dos and Don’ts
Eat Long Noodles and Dumplings: It’s traditional to serve and eat long noodles on the Chinese New Year since long noodles symbolize a long life. Families also eat dumplings as the clock strikes midnight to symbolize good luck and wealth.
Wear Red: Red is a good luck color in Chinese culture so you’ll see lots of people wearing red on the Chinese New Year. Red also symbolizes happiness, vitality, and a long life.
Display Flowers In Your Home: You’ll definitely want to have flowers around your house since orchids stand for fertility and abundance, peach blossoms are for prosperity and growth, and plum blossoms are for endurance and courage.
Give and Receive ‘Lucky Money’ In Red Envelopes: It’s common for children to receive ‘lucky money’ in red envelopes since good luck is a major theme of the Chinese New Year. Make sure to give an even-numbered dollar amount since those numbers are considered lucky, while odd numbers aren’t. You’ll also want to choose crisp bills for the red envelopes.
Clean Your Home Before The Chinese New Year: People clean their homes prior to the Chinese New Year and open their door to let good luck enter.
Eat Unlucky Food: Avoid eating porridge for breakfast on the day of the Chinese New Year since it symbolizes poverty.
Bathe or Wash Your Hair: By washing your hair and bathing on the day of the Chinese New Year it’s believed that you’ll be washing all of your luck out of your hair.
Cry: Crying on the first day of the Chinese New Year means tears for the whole year so make sure to avoid crying.
Give Unlucky Gifts: If giving a gift to someone on New Year’s Day, make sure not to give any sharp items since it implies the cutting of ties, handkerchiefs since they’re usually given at funerals, and anything to do with the number four since four sounds like ‘death.’
Sweep or Clean Your Home The Day Of The Chinese New Year: Tradition says that no one should pick up a broom and clean their house on the day of the Chinese New Year because any cleaning done on New Year’s day washes away good luck. So, you’ll want to avoid cleaning and sweeping on the actual day to make sure that you don’t sweep the good luck for the New Year out the door.