The date of Chinese New Year is different every year. Generally it is between January 21st and February 22nd.
According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, there are ‘big’ years and ‘small’ years.
‘Big’ years can be up to 384 days, but ‘small’ years can be only 355 days. During ‘big’ years, the Chinese New Year moves to late February, but during ‘small’ years, it goes back to late January, so there is a range of 32 days.
2021 Chinese New Year is on Friday February 12th and is the year of the Ox.
Years of the Ox – 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021
Fire Ox – 1937/1997 – clever/self-centred/outspoken
Earth Ox – 1949/2009 – righteous/strict/hard to have high opinion of others
Metal Ox – 1961/2021 – indecisive/suspicious/patient
Water Ox – 1913/1973 – upright/honest/incommunicative
Wood Ox – 1925/1985 – stubborn/steady/introversive
Oxen are the hard workers in the background, intelligent and reliable, but never demanding praise.
They are honest with strong devotion to work.
They are talented leaders with strong faith.
Best match with Ox: Rat, Snake, Monkey, or Rooster
Both Oxen and Snakes are both willing to work long to live better. The Snake will look up to the persistent Ox and provide genuine support during hardships.
Steady Oxen and cheerful Roosters have complementing personalities and hold the same goals in life.
Rat and Monkey fit Ox nicely as well, but be aware that sometimes the Monkey will do some small tricks on Ox.
Worst Match with Ox: Tiger, Dragon, Horse, or Goat
Tiger and Dragon can only tolerate Ox to a certain extent.
Horse may make a rocky relationship with Ox and it is hard to find common ground between Goat and Ox.
Oxen’ Unlucky Things:
Unlucky numbers: 3, 4
Unlucky colour: blue
Unlucky direction: northwest
Chinese New Year Taboos
- Do not say negative words – death, sick, empty, pain, ghost, poor, break, kill etc.
- Do not break ceramics or glass – breaking things will break your connection to prosperity and fortune. If a plate or bowl is dropped, immediately wrap it with red paper while murmuring auspicious phrases. After the New Year, throw the wrapped up shards into a lake or river.
- Do not clean or sweep – the day before New Year, cleaning is done to sweep away the bad luck. Bag up any rubbish and throw it away after the 5th day.
- Do not use scissors, knives or other sharp objects – sharp objects will cut your stream of wealth and success. This is why 99% of hair salons are closed during the holidays. Hair cutting is taboo and forbidden until all festivities are over.
- Do not visit the wife’s family – returning to her parents on New Year’s Day means that there are marriage problems and may also bring bad luck to the entire family.
- Do not demand debt repayment – this will bring bad luck to both parties. However, it’s fair game after the 5th day! Borrowing money is also taboo.
- Avoid fighting and crying – if a child cries, do not reprimand them. All issues should be solved peacefully. Neighbours used to play peacemaker to ensure a smooth path in the New Year.
- Avoid taking medicine – do not take medicine during the Spring Festival to avoid being sick the entire year. Don’t visit the doctor. Don’t perform/undergo surgery. Don’t get injections.
- Do not give New Year blessings to someone still in bed – let them get up from bed first, or they will be bed-ridden for the entire year.
- Chinese gift-giving taboos – clocks are the worst gifts. It is like paying one’s last respects.
Chinese New Year Clothes
This is a time of change and new beginnings; removing the old and welcoming the new. New clothes are auspicious and can protect you from evil spirits and they add to the festivities.
In the past, China was an agrarian society. There was only one harvest per year in the north and 2-3 in the south. Throughout the entire year, people scrimped and saved, but during Chinese New Year, people could finally splurge and treat themselves.
Often, clothes will be given as gifts from the family. As a sign of a fresh start, it’s best to wear your new attire on New Year’s Day.
Go for red and stay away from black or white, as they are regarded as unlucky and negative.
If you’re looking for some stylish shoes, many major brands have started releasing Chinese New Year themed shoes, but some Chinese, especially Cantonese, are superstitious about buying shoes during the Chinese New Year holiday. You should never give shoes as a gift, as the Chinese word for shoes sounds like the word for evil or bad luck.
Look out for special meals in your local Chinese restaurant.