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Chinese New Year 2021: All you need to know


11 February 2021


Pretoria – The Chinese Embassy in South Africa will hold the 2021 “Happy Chinese New Year” virtual event on February 14 to usher in the Year of the Ox, the Chinese Embassy in South Africa said in a statement.

Chinese Ambassador to South Africa his Excellency Mr Chen Xiadong and South African Minister of Tourism Honourable Kubayi Ngubane will deliver keynote addresses, the Embassy further said.

“We will review the touching moments of China – South Africa anti – pandemic co-operation, enjoy the fascinating and cultural landscapes of the two countries and the spectacular cultural performances of Chinese and South African artists and experience the customs of the Chinese New Year.”

The Chinese Embassy in South Africa added that, “ We will present you with the Chinese classical dance show of the African Champion for the Chinese Bridge competition, the footage of the animated film co-produced by China and South Africa, “Panda and Springbok” and the Chinese style drum performances of South Africa’s female drummers. You will also enjoy songs and dances performed by the diplomats and children of the Chinese Embassy in South Africa,” the embassy said.

Lunar New Year – also known as the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, begins Friday, ushering in the second animal on the zodiac.

Though the occasion is meant to be spent with family and friends, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic means that the celebrations around the world – from the United States to Britain to China itself – will look different this year for 1.5 billion people who observe the occasion.

The Lunar New Year is a chance to start afresh, see loved ones and share in the hope of good things to come. It is the most important and the most popular holiday for Chinese people and in the Chinese culture.

As the timing of the new year varies, it can fall in January or early February, In China the festival lasts 15 days starting with a feast the night of New Year’s eve and ending this year with the Spring Lantern Festival on February 26.

The Lunar New Year is celebrated by cleaning one’s home, and adorning it with red banners, artwork and flowers. This holiday is centred around food so there are several days of preparation when people make very sort of symbolic dishes like a whole fish – which symbolises prosperity. Dumplings symbolises wealth and noodles symbolises longevity.

2021 is the year of the Ox and February 12 marks the first day of the xin chou year, or Year of the Metal Ox under the Lunar New Year sexagenary cycle. The Ox is a hardworking zodiac sign that signifies movement, the metal element of the year represents an emphasis on metal industries in 2021, from jewellery to the needle of a syringe.

While celebrations typically vary around the world, they will be especially different this year because of the pandemic. Those that mark the day are arranging everything from drive- thru celebratory meals to Zoom performances to ensure that this year will be one to remember.