The Lunar Chinese New Year is on Monday, January 26th. This year is the year of the Ox, and so all of you Ox babies – Happy New Year! Its your special year. For those of you who don’t know what your Chinese Zodiac symbol is, you can look it up by your birth year. There are 12 animals on the Chinese Zodiac so every 12 years, your animal comes up and its your special year.
I found this quick definition on the Ox: The Ox is the second sign of the Chinese zodiac. Like its predecessor and complement, the Rat, it signifies new beginnings. The main difference is the Ox is associated with building to last and slow but sure action.
Wikipedia has a really in depth explanation on Chinese astrology and the 12 animals: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_astrology
To celebrate Chinese New Year, take your kids and families to your local Chinatowns to see what festivities are going on. They aren’t always on the exact day of Chinese New Year, so check your local calendar for details. You’ll be able make a day of it. Take in some dim sum, chinese pastries, and lion dances complete with firecrackers.
If your city doesn’t have a Chinatown, have no fear. You can make some of your own Chinese dishes at home to celebrate. Here is a link: http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/holidays/lunarnewyear/lunarnewyear