The Year of the Ox begins on January 26, 2009, according to the Chinese lunar calendar. People born during the year of the ox possess strong work ethics, are dependable, loyal, hard working, have great leadership qualities, and are well organized. They can also be stubborn and narrow-minded.
According to legend, Lord Buddha invited all the animals to a celebration, but only 12 came. In their honor, he named an animal for each year creating a 12 year cycle. Those born during the year would possess the traits associated with that particular animal. The Chinese use 12 different animals to represent a cycle of 12 years. The first is the Rat, followed by the Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.
During the lunar month, the Chinese begin getting ready to welcome the New Year. Debts are paid, hair is cut, and new clothes are purchased. Homes are thoroughly cleaned to sweep away any ill fortune and to make way for the incoming good luck. Doors and windows are decorated with paper cut-outs with the themes of happiness, wealth and longevity. Incense is burned in homes and temples to pay respect to ancestors and ask the good for good health in the coming year. Families gather to feast in celebration. The young pay homage to the elderly and all unmarried children receive the lucky red packet with money. Red, orange, and gold are auspicious colors. Everyone loves the lion and dragon dances!
Chinatown, here in Bangkok, is already gearing up for its New Year. Vendors have red traditional clothes, lanterns, and lots of good luck items brightening the streets ready for sale. I am working on some new Chinese jewelry and wine charms for my Etsy shop. Even though you do not celebrate the Chinese New Year, you can welcome the year of the ox and enjoy these pieces which may bring along a little good luck. They will be added to my shop soon. Here's a collection of Chinese New Year items from various of shops on Etsy:
This is a peek of my new collection - recently added to my Etsy shop.