Many Asian populations in the United States including Chinese, Vietnamese and Koreans will soon be celebrating The Asian Lunar New Year, The Year of the Ox (January 26, 2009 – February 13, 2010), which begins on January 26, 2009. Lunar New Year is an ancient cultural tradition during which family members and friends come together to wish each other happiness and pay respect to ancestors. It is a time to cast away the bad luck of the previous year and wish “good fortune” in the coming year. Famous Americans Born in the Year of the Ox include Barack Obama!
“The Asian Lunar New Year is an extremely important holiday that is widely celebrated in many Asian communities. It is a time for reunion, renewal, and revitalization with family, friends, and business colleagues,” said Cynthia Park, president, Kang & Lee Advertising, the leading multicultural marketing consulting and communications agency specializing in reaching Asian consumers in the United States.
The Lunar New Year is celebrated with loved ones, lots of special holiday food, and traditional music including drums and gongs. Family members and friends gather at each other's homes for visits during which they share large meals and gifts symbolizing fortune. According to tradition, Chinese and Vietnamese give children “red-envelopes” with good-luck money for the New Year, and Koreans offer newly minted money as a symbol of auspicious and fortuitous beginnings. Before the New Year, houses get a thorough cleaning to sweep away evil spirits that may be hiding and everyone buys bright new clothing to wear on New Year's Day.
The Lunar New Year is represented by a cycle of 12 years, each denoted by a different animal. Traditionally, the festivities start 22 days prior to the New Year and continue for 15 days afterwards. Chinese New Year parades are annual traditions across the United States. This year, the Year of the Ox, is the second animal in the Chinese horoscope.
Below are some fun facts about the Ox.
Ox Years: 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009
Chinese Calendar Year: 4707
Corresponds to Western Sign: Capricorn
Famous Americans Born in Year of the Ox: Barack Obama, Walt Disney, Gerald Ford, Sammy Davis Jr., Paul Newman, Bill Cosby, Colin Powell, Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman, Warren Beatty, Jane Fonda, Meryl Streep, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Don Johnson, Eddie Murphy
Other Famous People Born in the Year of the Ox: Napoleon, Vincent van Gogh, Margaret Thatcher, Diana Princess of Wales
Ox Characteristics: patient, contemplative, dexterous, eloquent, confident, authoritative, responsible, dependable, honest, intelligent, caring, creative, honorable, and practical. At the same time, the Ox may be inflexible, proud, possessive, critical,stubborn and intolerant.
Best Careers for Those Born in the Year of the Ox: Painters, Interior Designers, Carpenters, Mechanics, Engineers, Draftsmen, Architects, Army Officers, Managers, Archeologists, Bankers, Investment Brokers, Real Estate Agents, Academics
Lucky Colors: Yellow (symbolizes fame and achievement), Blue (symbolizes harmony)
Lunar New Year:
– in Chinese: “Chuen Jie” (Mandarin for 'Spring Festival')
– in Vietnamese: “Tet Nguyen Dan”
– in Korean: “Sol”
Happy New Year:
– in Chinese (Cantonese): Gung Hay Fat Choy (Wishing you get rich)
– in Vietnamese: Chuc Mung Nam Moi (Happy New Year)
– in Korean: Sae Hae Bok Man Ie Ba Due Se Yo (Get lots of luck) Lucky/Special New Year Foods:
– Chinese: Dumplings, Rice Cake (called Nian Gao)
– Korean: Rice Cake Soup (called duk-kuk)
– Vietnamese: Rice Cake (called Banh Trung)
Next Lunar New Year: Year of the Tiger, February 14, 2010 – February 2, 2011