Lunar New Year 2021: What to know about Year of the Ox

In the Chinese Zodiac, the ox is associated with hard work and serenity.
Happy Lunar New Year!

Although modern-day China uses the Gregorian calendar (meaning it's the year 2021 there, just like in the U.S.), its holidays are governed by the traditional lunisolar calendar, according to National Geographic.

The Lunar New Year, also called the Spring Festival in China and Hong Kong, falls on different days according to the moon phase. This year, it falls on Feb. 12.

The festival is celebrated differently throughout the world, predominantly in regions with larger Chinese populations, and traditionally focuses on themes of reunion and hope.

Some traditions including lighting firecrackers and decorating with the color red.

MORE: How our families celebrate Lunar New Year
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Lunar New Year is celebrated by an estimated 1.5 billion people across several Asian countries and their diasporas here in the United States.

The festival lasts around 40 days, and China observes a seven-day-long state holiday.

The holiday normally sparks the world's busiest travel period, as hundreds of millions travel to their hometown for chunyun, or spring migration, according to National Geographic. On the eve of the new year, families celebrate with massive dinners hosted by their most senior members.

This year and last, however, the coronavirus pandemic has stifled this tradition, as China issued guidance restricting non-essential travel.

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From traditions to signature dishes, we met up with Martin Yan to talk all things Lunar New Year.

The Chinese Zodiac, a system that has existed in Chinese culture for more than 2,000 years, dictates which animal represents a given year.

The cycle repeats every 12 years, and 2021 is the Year of the Ox.

Different characteristics are assigned to each animal, and this is traditionally used to determine fortune.

The ox, for example, is associated with hard work and serenity, according to the Associated Press.

Here are the 12 zodiac animals in order with accompanying years:

  • 2022: Year of the Tiger
  • 2023: Year of the Rabbit
  • 2024: Year of the Dragon
  • 2025: Year of the Snake
  • 2026: Year of the Horse
  • 2027: Year of the Goat
  • 2028: Year of the Monkey
  • 2029: Year of the Rooster
  • 2030: Year of the Dog
  • 2031: Year of the Pig
  • 2032: Year of the Rat

  • The video in the media player above was used in a previous report.
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