Here’s Another Great Picture Book to Celebrate the Chinese New Year; Did You Know 2021 is the Year of the Ox?
Dragon Dance: A Chinese New Year Lift the Flap Book
By Joan Holub; illustrated by Benrei Hwang
For parents of 2-6 year olds who are looking for a colorful and comprehensive look at the ancient cultural traditions surrounding the Chinese New Year binding family celebrations at the heart of the festival, here is a book that explains many of them for the younger group, using an appealing, hands on approach. Kids love to lift the flaps and discover.
In Dragon Dance, there’s lots for everyone to do in the preparation for the welcoming of the New Year whose date is determined by the Chinese lunar calendar and much to enjoy during the ensuing festive celebrations. Whether it involves shopping for fresh flowers at an outdoor market, eating New Year dinner with the family, or receiving the much awaited traditional red envelopes containing money from ones parents, grandparents or close relatives, family is the focus of the fun. I’ve read that some children awaken to find under their pillows red envelopes the contents of which, may or may not reflect how good they’ve been during the previous year. And naturally, the best of course is saved for last – watching the New Year parade.
For the smallest of celebrants, this may just be the perfect introduction to 2021 the Year of the Ox.
Here’s some background information history on the Ox who is the second of the twelve zodiac animal signs in the Chinese New Year.
There is a myth that says the Jade Emperor himself said the order of animals would be decided by the order in which the animals arrived at his party he was giving.
And guess what? Monkey, Rooster and Dog were off helping another god with some difficult evil spirits. So, they arrived late. But, all three arrived at the Jade Emperor’s party at the same time! How does the Jade Emperor decide this conundrum? Simple, says he. He will go by the order they met the god in the other country that needed help.
The Ox was initially first in line to arrive at the Jade Emperor’s party, but the rat tricked the ox into giving him a ride and upon reaching the party, leapt ahead of the ox and was thus first, with the ox second,
You dirty rat!
And the Chinese New Year of the Ox starts on Friday, February 12, 2021.
The Ox is a valued animal in Chinese culture. Because of its necessity in the agricultural role it plays in helping in the fields, it is noted as being hardworking and industrious….and honest.
Recent years of the Ox were 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 2009 and 2021.
The personality of those born in the year of the Ox are made up of being earnest and a low key demeanor; they often hide their talents, but gain recognition through their hard work.
They rarely lose their tempers and make great leaders.
Here are a list of some lucky things for Oxen:
Lucky colors are : blue yellow and green
Numbers : 1, 4
Flowers : Lily of the Valley and lucky bamboo.
My thanks to Fefe Ho’s and Chloe Chiao’s article for the research on the Year of the Ox and the Chinese Zodiac.
And in closing, I bid you all xian nian hao ( pronounced as “shin nee – an how” ).
Happy New Year!
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