As we enter the year 2021, one of the biggest festive seasons to anticipate to would be the annual Chinese New Year celebrations! It begins with the new moon that occurs between the end of January and the end of February. It is a holiday that lasts for about 15 days until the full moon arrives with the Festival of Lantern.
Chinese New Year is a traditional holiday to honor household, ancestors, and heavenly deities. It is the time of the year where families gather, reunite and feast together. This year Chinese New Year will begin on the 12th of February.
The Year of Ox
The Chinese calendar also includes the Chinese zodiac - it is a cycle of 12 signs along the path of the sun through the universe. Each Lunar New Year is marked by the characteristic of one of the zodiac animals. The zodiac animals are the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. 2021 is the year of the Ox.
The Ox is the second animal amongst all 12 zodiac animals. According to the myth that has been told for many years, the order of the animals was decided by the order in which the animals would arrive at the Jade Emperor’s party. In accordance to the myth, the Ox was about to be the first to arrive when the Rat tricked the Ox into offering him a ride. Just as the two animals were about to arrive, the Rat jumped down and landed ahead of the Ox and became the first animal to arrive at the Jade Emperor's gathering; leaving the Ox as the second animal to arrive.
The Ox is known to be a valued animal in the Chinese culture because of its role in agriculture and good characteristics. They are often well known to be hard working, honest, intelligent, reliable and never one to demand for praise.
New Year Traditions and Feast
In conjunction with the traditional Chinese New Year celebration, it is common that almost everything would nearly come to a halt as home and family become the principal focuses. Most households would have their attention fixed on the celebration. There are a lot of rituals carried out during the Chinese New Year holiday that are meant to bring good luck to a household, as well as to bring long life to the family itself - especially to the guardians of the family.
Chinese New Year also involves a lot of cleaning, as houses would be cleaned thoroughly to ensure there are no “inauspicious breaths” that might have been collected through the year. Cleaning was also meant to please the gods that were said would come down from above for an inspection.
It is a tradition to hold ritual sacrifices of food and paper icons that are offered to ancestors and gods. Scrolls with lucky messages are usually posted on house gates and firecrackers would be lit to scare off evil spirits. It is also a custom for the elderlies to give out money to children and younger ones who are not married.
One of the most important traditions during Chinese New Year would definitely be the annual reunion dinner on New Year's Eve. Often the extended family would come together for a meal that often includes a fish as the last course. However, is it not meant to be eaten. It is a symbol of abundance.
As Chinese New Year is just around the corner, do not forget to keep in touch with your roots; your one and only family. Send the gift of beautiful blooms to your loved ones to remind them the beauty of togetherness and that no matter the distance, love will always be there. Here at Flower Chimp, we offer a wide variety of gifts that simply perfect for Chinese New Year. Surprise someone this Chinese New Year and make their day with our Chinese New Year collection.