Chinese New Year is today and it is going to officially be the year of the OX. According to my mom, I am 100% the expected characteristics of an ox.
So let me back it up a bit… If you don’t know what I’m talking about, the zodiac signs are similar to astrology like Aquarius or Scorpio. However, instead of the months dictating your sign, in the lunar calendar, it’s the year that you were born that dictates your sign. There are 12 just like in astrology, but they are all animals. For example, 2020 was the year of the rat!
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AN OX //
As an ox, I am characterized as diligent, kind and generous. Oxen are also characterized as hard workers, intelligent, reliable, and never demanding praise. They are natural born leaders.
One of my favorite things to do is check websites for predictions for the year! It ranges from lucky number to lucky colors (blue, yellow and green) to compatibility with other signs. BUT, as we do with horoscopes, take it with a grain of salt as no two sites are ever the same. Look at the positives and take it for what you want it to be.
LUCKY MONEY ENVELOPES //
Ahh – these little red envelopes are very well-known symbols of the new year. This ‘lucky money’ is traditionally given to children. It is believed to be an anchor for a year of good fortune and many blessings that are given to you from the adults in your circle. For me growing up, it was always a one dollar bill in there and I remember getting so excited! That meant 4 bags of chips or as much five cent candy as I wanted. Though it may not sound like much – when you are given a dollar from all family and friends, it adds up very quickly!
To this day, my mom still gives me lucky money even though I am a full-fledged adult. I don’t run to the corner store with it like I did as a kid. Instead of using the money (typically between $10-$20) right away, the mister and I save it. We use the lucky money when we are making big decisions that we feel needs good fortune and blessings. For example, we used the lucky money in our wedding day deposit to the reception hall and again when we bought our home as a way to give blessings to our next adventure together. For us, it symbolizes having our family with us when we make these decisions and so far, we have been truly blessed.
OTHER TRADITIONS //
Family traditions are so quirky and fun in the moment, but in a year like the one that we just had, I miss it. The ones I miss the most are:
- My mom cooking a full meal on new year’s eve for the ancestors. She puts out an entire spread for the day with incense, lots of prayers, and a very specific menu that honors the life they had.
- Getting dressed up in new clothing to usher in a fresh start.
- Walking out the door and re-entering after midnight. My mom was highly suspicious when it came to matters of tradition. She would have one of us (the most compatible with the animal year) leave the house right before midnight. Then at midnight, she would open the door and let us in. It is believe that the first ‘spirit’ to enter your home can dictate your luck for the year – so why leave it to chance for a friend or mailman?
- There are also some other taboos that many asian families have experiences – Things to do/not do for Chinese New Year. (its the same site I took the zodiac calendar from above)
Every family has their own traditions – but they always revolve around bring good fortune and blessings for the year.
THE LOOK //
Since the Chinese New year signals a time for new beginnings, it is believed to be best if you wear new clothes for your fresh start like I mentioned above.
For me, I wanted to bring in the color red and gold as that is typically the color of good luck and fortune on Chinese New Year but mix it with a more modern pallet. I grabbed this red longline vest that have had in my closet – but never had the courage to wear. I ripped the tag off and welcomed it into my look for the new year.
By adding the white mockneck sweater and black crop pants, it ushers the look into a work appropriate outfit while still letting the red be the dominating color. (that way the red doesn’t overwhelm the eye) Finally – I added this amazing bag that looks like a dupe to the Bottega Venetta one that many ladies have been posting. Watch out – Girl Boss on the move for 2021!
I wish you all the most amazing day and a very happy lunar new year!
TOP // Mockneck Sweater (gifted c/o Primark), similar here, Zara Red Longline Vest
PANTS // Black Slim Ankle Pant – cinched
ACCESSORIES // Black Lizard Pumps, Cinched Soft Clutch Bag, Layered Necklace