The Lunar year 2021 will be under the symbol of Ox and the element of Metal
When is it?
The first day of the new year is 12th February 2021. The celebrations continue throughout 27th February 2021.
New year’s eve (11th February) is also a day of celebration, as are the days after.
Why is it different every year?
The lunar calendar follows the cycles of the moon. The new year can land between January-March. So, if you’re born in the early part of the year, check to see which of the 12 zodiac animals you are.
Who celebrates it?
Millions of people of Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Tibetan heritage. That’s people in those countries and diaspora around the world – especially in South East Asia such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand etc. Note there are over 1.2 million people of Chinese heritage living in Australia and over 200k of Vietnamese heritage (census).
In mainland China (outside of Covid times), the new year is reason for one of the biggest movements of people in the world as those living in cities visit their hometowns in rural areas.
Is it the same as the Chinese New Year?
Yes. To be more inclusive, it’s recommended that we use “lunar new year”.
What animal is it?
It’s the year of the Ox / Buffalo. There are 12 animals of the zodiac.
What are those animals?
Rat, pig, dragon, rabbit (or cat in Vietnamese zodiac), dog, tiger, horse, monkey, sheep (or goat), snake, ox, rooster. Each have different characteristics and many people believe in them like astrological star signs (Sagittarius, cancer, Pisces…)
How do people celebrate it?
It’s celebrated in different ways, but broadly think Christmas plus (Gregorian) New Year rolled into one. It’s a time for people to catch up with family and friends, and for renewal. It’s an official holiday in many parts of the world (including Christmas Island in Australia).
What do you do on new year?
Enjoy yourself: wear new clothes, eat lots of lucky food. Imagine the first day represents how you want to be the rest of the year – relaxed, amongst loved ones, surrounded by abundance…
What’s with the “red packets”?
These contain money and traditionally, married people give red packets to people who are younger than them. It’s often a bonanza for kids! Keep in mind red is a lucky colour.
What does the moon do on lunar new year?
It’s a new moon so you won’t see much evening light. This is contrary to popular belief that the moon is full.
While you’re at it…
Why is 4 a bad luck number?
In Chinese “4” sounds like the word for “death”. Hence in places like Hong Kong there are no fourth floors. And you won’t get heaps of bidders on Sydney property for houses numbered 4.
Why is 8 a good luck number?
In Chinese “8” sounds like “luck”. Lots of licence plates will have “888” because “three-eight” sounds like “birth of luck”.
What colours are good luck?
You can’t go wrong with red and gold.
What symbols can be used to represent the new year?
The animal of that year, lions (from lion dancing), dragons, lanterns, fire crackers.
Like with Christmas and (the Gregorian) new year, people have different attitudes to the lunar new year and many people of Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Tibetan heritage couldn’t care less about the year of the Ox/ Buffalo…