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Chinese New Year celebrates Year of the Ox

Archive pic by Johnny Bugeja

Local residents from China are today celebrating their New Year, with today being the first day of the Year of the Ox.

In past years the Chinese New Year has been celebrated in John Mackintosh Square with a lion dance and parade.

This year due to the Covid-19 pandemic the festivities will be instead held at home.

Ming Ming Peters told the Chronicle about the new year events and what the Year of the Ox means.

Mrs Peters grew up in Hong Kong and said the Chinese New Year as an incredibly important holiday in their calendar, which is traditionally spent with family and friends.

The Chinese New Year is much more important than Christmas, any other Chinese festival, she explained.

“This holiday is also celebrated in most South eastern Asian countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan besides China, and of course all Chinese diaspora and foreigners alike around the world,” she said.

Mrs Peters explained that the year of birth determines that persons zodiac sign.

“If one is born in this year, tradition determines one’s zodiac sign as the Ox, same as those born in 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997 and 2009,” she said.

“Like the European horoscope which is divided by 12 month, the Chinese have 12-year zodiac cycle."

“When it’s your zodiac year, one usually expects a year full of fluctuations, changes can be a good opportunity for a new start, or it can be full of challenges in life.”

“It’s always good to know what’s coming ahead, so one can be prepared and proceed with caution when making big decision. Bad luck is always relative, depending which part of the event one focuses on.”

“There is some superstitious saying one of the ways to ward off bad luck during your year is to wear red underwear.”

“This old saying simply come from the colour red is considered auspicious and believed to repel evil. I personally believe by wearing whatever amulet one trusts, is another way to invite good fortune. It’s the believe that counts.”

“Dragons are always known as auspicious creatures, some prefer a lion for good luck. All these symbols can be worn as jewellery or place around the house to provide protection.”

Mrs Peters has a few friends born in 1973 or 1985, adding that interestingly they are very similar to the ancient explanation about the ox zodiac sign.

“They are known to be hard workers when they put their head to it. They usually stay true to themselves and apply their strengths,” she said.

“They hardly ever give up easily, and will eventually gain the prize of their hard work.”

“Like a true ox in the farm by relying on continuous effort, they will achieve their goals.”

Besides each year representing one animal, the Chinese lunar calendar is assigned to one of the five elements; fire, water, wood, metal and earth.

This year it is Metal Ox.

“The Chinese traditional calendar is complex and can be confusing. We need not to worry about the meaning this year though,” she said.

“Apparently, this ‘Yin Metal’ ox will bring us a lot of water and metal elements which can calm our current world which is overwhelmed by the fire elements.”

“I do enjoy studying the different features of the 12 zodiac signs as each reflects different characteristics.”

“By celebrating the Chinese New Year, it’s a great time to encourage ourselves to live a life, that mirrors some of the great characteristics displayed by those signs. Like the Ox represents dedication, diligence and resilience.”

For Mrs Peters daffodils are very important in the New Year celebrations and her mother sent her photos of her family’s arrangement.

“[It] is a must for my family’s celebration,” she said.

“I cannot get the daffodil here but I shall treasure the photos and hopefully I should be able to celebrate the new year with my loved ones peacefully.”

“With the new Ox year’s arriving I wish you all a new start and lockdown free Year of the Ox.”

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