Get Ready for the ‘Year of the Ox’

January 6, 2021

It’s 2021. Here at AMS we’ve come through peak season, we’ve enjoyed our holidays, enjoyed a moment of rest, and now we enter a new year. What will it bring us no one knows, but we do know we’ll do our best. Let’s get started!

Different cultures celebrate the new year in different ways and one of these celebrations contains some predictions on how the year will progress. We’re talking about Chinese astrology and the Chinese New Year. This new year celebration will be a time of gift-giving, and it has some effect on the supply chain due to the closure of ports, so at AMS we prepare for the effects and also enjoy visiting the predictions. This year is the year of the Ox.

The Chinese New Year (also called Spring Festival) starts February 12th, 2021. It’s celebrated not just in China but in Southeast Asian countries that follow the Lunar calendar and the large Chinese community living around the world. Each year this festival marks the beginning of a zodiac animal year, each with different attributes.

The year of the Ox seems appropriate for 2021, as the Ox is strong, hard-working and persevering. Last year was the year of the Rat. Is that surprising? Here is what a Japan Times article had to say about Rat vs Ox.

“Few people will have been sorry to see the end of 2020, a year characterized by the global COVID-19 pandemic. For those who follow the Chinese new year, the close of the tragic and tumultuous Year of the Rat is fast approaching, too. Feb. 12 marks the beginning of the Year of the Ox. The second animal of the Chinese zodiac, the ox denotes the hard work, positivity and honesty that will be manifested in all of us in the coming 12 months, according to astrologers.

“In the Year of the Rat, the force was the fast, hard, active yang while the element was water, which is known for “changing all the time.” The ox’s earthly branch, meanwhile, is associated with yin, which is slow, soft and passive. Its element is earth, representing “stability and nourishment. It is believed these additional associations and the characteristics of the ox have great synergy and are mostly favorable.”

Well that’s good news! Here’s more about the Ox:

“And the ox’s good attributes are not only found in the Chinese zodiac. The animal has been represented in religion, art, literature and popular culture throughout east Asia for centuries. Much of the high regard it holds is due to its importance in agriculture.

“In China, it is considered an animal of strength that is associated with harvests and fertility. In years gone by, people created an ox using mud and beat it with sticks as part of a new year ritual to mark the start of spring. It was also believed that placing a metal statue of an ox at the bottom of a river could prevent a flood. The ancient Chinese art of feng shui, which harmonizes people with their environment using energy forces, also regards the animal as auspicious, which has given the ox a reputation for granting wishes.”

We all have our wishes and my guess is they’re based on a a growing respect for one another and desire to plant some fertile fields in 2021. The celebrations will start February 12th (Friday), and will last until February 26th, about 15 days in total. We hope that all will enjoy fun celebrations and a very good new year!

There’s a proverb that says, “It is a bad plowman that quarrels with his ox.” Not sure what that means, but… let’s go with it!!