Happy Lunar New Year – It’s the Year of the Metal Ox

Friday, January 22, 2021

Well, the end of the Rat Year is in sight. Most people will be overjoyed to see the beginning of a new Lunar New Year, although we should all take a moment to reflect on the lessons 2020 has taught us. We’ve become more resilient, more adaptable, more resourceful and more compassionate. They have been hard won but each of these qualities will continue to benefit us for the rest of our lives, no more so than in our Tai Chi and Qigong practice.

In 2021, the Chinese New Year Festival will begin on 11th February. The festival usually lasts for 16 days, starting with New Year's Eve and concluding with the Spring Lantern Festival. The Lantern Festival is a time to honour one’s ancestors and foster peace, forgiveness and reconciliation. Something the whole world should be embracing right now.

The Chinese calendar rotates in 60-year cycles, with 12 branches, each represented by an animal, and five elements — wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. This year is the Year of the Metal Ox. The Ox is usually Yang and Earth, but in this Cycle it is Yin and Metal. So it will be slow, soft, passive, very strong and dependable. According to astrologers, The Ox denotes the hard work, positivity and honesty that will be manifested in all of us in the coming 12 months.

The Ox is the second zodiac animal. According to myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which the animals arrived to his party. The Ox was to be the first to arrive, but Rat tricked Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived, Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox. Thus, the Ox became the second animal.

The Ox was used as an important farming tool in agricultural society so was associated with harvest and fertility. It is known for its hard work, dependability, strength, persistence, and honesty, and is seen to have made an important contribution to the development of civilization in China.

We can therefore look to this year as a time when problems get solved with discipline and hard work… lots of it! So, with a bit of effort we can start putting into action the lessons we were taught last year, and in so doing create a harmonious, productive, and peaceful life. Just remember, resilience, adaptability, resourcefulness, and compassion, with a good dose of hard work “gōng”.

So, from all of us at JinLi - Gōng xǐ fā cái (恭喜发财) - May you have a prosperous New Year!