This week marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year and the “Year of the Ox.” For our Asian friends and colleagues, this 15-day celebration is a time for family, food, and festivities. As a global company, with more than 50 offices across Asia, we celebrate the rich cultural traditions in the communities where we live and work. In the spirit of the event, we’d like to share a little bit about the celebration and the meaning of the lunar year of the ox.
The lunar year kicks off on the first new moon of the lunar calendar, beginning sometime between late January and early February. Origins of the lunar new year festival date back for thousands of years and are rooted in legend. According to one myth, Nian, a mythical beast, would come down from the mountains to feast on villagers on New Year’s Day. Over time, the villagers learned that Nian feared the color red, fire, and loud noises. So, when the new year came, the villagers would hang red lanterns and ignite firecrackers to scare the beast away.
This year, Lunar New Year is celebrated on February 12 ringing in the “Year of the Ox.” The ox, second of the 12-year cycle of animals in Chinese astrology is symbolic for honesty, persistence, and hard work. In addition, each year is believed to be influenced by other factors, including elements – fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. For example, on the Chinese calendar, this is the Year of the “Metal” Ox, which is associated with diligence, dependability, and success.
Happy Lunar New Year to all our readers! We hope this year brings good luck and peace.