Lunar New Year 2021: World celebrates 'Year of the Ox'
- February 12, 2021 marks the beginning of Lunar New Year
- The Chinese zodiac calendar is represented by 12 different animals
- In Chinese culture, an ox is a hardworking zodiac sign
This year, February 12 marks the beginning of Lunar New Year, also known as the Chinese Lunar Year. People have said goodbye to 'Year of the Rat' and hello to 'Year of the Ox'. The 15-day Lunar New Year/Spring Festival celebration will commence on Friday under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. The occasion is largely celebrated in China as well as other territories in Asia, including South Korea and Singapore.
While we all have an idea about the 12-year Chinese zodiac calendar, which is represented by 12 different animals, it's actually far more complex.
Chinese doesn't categorise a year only by its zodiac sign. It is a combination of one of 10 heavenly stems and one of 12 earthly branches. According to the sexagenary cycle, February 12 marks the beginning of the year of xin chou.
"Xin" represents the heavenly stem for the element metal and "chou" is the earthly branch symbol for ox, making this year the 'Year of the Metal Ox'.
Thierry Chow, a Hong Kong-based feng shui master told CNN that the ox in Chinese culture is a hardworking zodiac sign.
"It usually signifies movements so, hopefully, the world will be less static than last year and get moving again in the second half of the year," Chow added.
The other animals in the Chinese calendar are rat, dragon, snake, horse, rabbit, sheep, rooster, monkey, dog and pig.