2021 is the Year of the Ox for the Chinese. Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, is probably the most important festival in China, similarly as important as Christmas to the western world. Each year, the largest human migration in the world takes place around the time of the Chinese New Year. “Chunyun” is the period of time when millions of people travel back to their hometown for family reunions.
The British Channel Island Jersey has this beautifully coloured £1 stamp minisheet showing a mother cow looking at her calf, which looks back towards its mother, indicating affection and a harmonious family balance.
To Chinese, the year of their birth is significant in shaping the trajectory of their lives. Those born in the year of the Ox are thought to be dependable, diligent and determined. Their other positive traits are being hardworking, honest and healthy. Represented on this New Zealand stamp sheet are (from left to right): $1.40 Happiness, $2.70 Fortune, $3.50 Freedom and on the $4.00 the Ox and an infant share an apple – this act of sharing represents peace.
The next three items are from Singapore:
The Chinese calendar is based on five cycles of 12 years each, with each cycle tempered by one of the five Chinese elements – Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth. Each year features one of the 12 animal signs, and the year of 2021 is that of the Metal Ox.
The meal shown on the sheet above, ‘pen cai’, which literally means ‘vegetables in a basin’, originates from Hong Kong, is an indulgent affair where layers of ingredients are braised in a fragrant gravy. Customarily eaten during Chinese New Year, this festive casserole hotpot dish symbolises prosperity and abundance.
The Ox is the second animal in the Zodiac series on the Chinese calendar. This determined, hardworking and dependable Ox is depicted on a $10 stamp value in this collector sheet.
For the Year of Xinchou (the Ox) “Striving to be Strong” is the official title of this new issue from China Post, which depicts the image of a “heroic, powerful, indomitable running bull”.