The Year of the Rat is over, and none too soon. On this day as we mark the Chinese New Year, the Zodiac calendar celebrates the Year of the Ox. Doesn’t that have a better ring to it?

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More than 20% of the world celebrates the Chinese New Year. It’s the most important holiday in the Chinese tradition. The date is flexible because it’s based on the lunar calendar and not the typical Gregorian calendar. The celebration lasts 16 days. As the clock strikes midnight, more fireworks will explode than at any other time of the year.

In Chinese New Year tradition, you’ll see lots of red. Auspicious foods include whole fish and dumplings. There are also taboo activities. No showering, throwing out garbage or using sharp objects.

The Year of the Ox signifies strength, labor, and activity. Sounds like a good way to rebound from a global pandemic. The animals represented on the Chinese calendar cycle every 12 years. Sadly, the year your animal’s in the spotlight is a bad-luck year. For instance, if you were born under the sign of the Ox in 1961, 1973, 1985—any 12-year interval—well that just doesn’t bode well for you in 2021.

Xin nian kuai le!

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