Healthy and Prosperous Chinese New Year! (this time for real)

2021, year of the Ox @Etsy

An unusual Tet

The Lunar New Year is the most important celebration in Vietnam. Cities turns red and gold, streets are packed with shoppers and the air is filled with joy and excitement. For a week, Vietnamese will express their respects for ancestors as well as welcoming the New Year with family members.

It always feels like Hanoi is suddenly depleted of all its vibrant energy: all the shops are closed, the whole town is on pause.

This year is no exception, but for another reason.

Don’t travel for the next 10 days, wait for the Ox

A few days ago, Hanoi and some neighbouring cities have experienced new cases of Covid19. Hanoi authorities are so serious about tackling the pandemy that it only took a few days before they ordered the closing of schools. Mask is compulsory (unless you want to pay 150$ fine) and public gatherings are forbidden.

The Governement has encouraged its citizens not to travel for the next 10 days – and all my Vietnamese friends have canceled their plans to play it safe. I am always so impressed at their resilience. They think family and community first. Streets are deserted, businesses are down again, yet no complain. As Nga our helper always says ” our wealth is our health“. Before her week holiday, she also confessed to be less worry about Covid this coming year, as “2021 is the year of the Ox“.

Eagerly waiting for the Buffalo to run 2021

Feb. 12 marks the beginning of the Year of the Ox. The second animal of the Chinese zodiac, the ox denotes the hard work, positivity and honesty that will be manifested in all of us in the coming 12 months, according to astrologers.

In Asia, it is considered an animal of strength that is associated with harvests and fertility. It is usually associated with diligence, gratitude and loyalty. It is seen as altruistic as it serves mankind. In Japan, many shrines are decorated with cows, as they are said to have the power to cure diseases.

Amen to that !

A strong and powerful ox carrying a happy child and the traditional kumquat tree. The more fruit on the tree, the luckier your family (Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Feb 2021)

So we have decided to cancel our holidays and stay in Hanoi. We definitely don’t want to take the risk of being stranded far from home in case the Government decides on a sudden lockdown. And rumors are spreading that there could be a new quarantine of 3 weeks. Naaaahh, better wait for the ox.

To a new year filled with vibrant health, joy and happiness ! “Chúc Mừng Năm Mới” to all our Vietnamese friends!

8 thoughts on “Healthy and Prosperous Chinese New Year! (this time for real)

    1. Thanks dear !!! I feel the same, it’s getting better and here people are so cautious. We are playing the tourists in Hanoi and it’s great to wander in the deserted city, it’s so unique!
      Hope all is fine with you too, and that you are enjoying the snow XXX

      1. I hear you ! I am already cold when the temperatures reach below 20 degrees here 😉 Spring on its way, hang on there X

  1. I just read elsewhere that the Year of the Ox will bring us good things, as well as the end of the “year of doom.” Let’s hope they are right! (I love hearing about Vietnam’s community-based approach to Covid; the extremely low number of deaths confirms you all are doing something right over there!)

    1. I have decided to be right 😉
      Numbers are super low here, that’s The benefit of living in a communist coutry where you do what you ve been told . And the other thing is that families usually live together with the eldest, so they want to protect them. This is what my 8 yo explained me the other day, they have been told at school that “we need to protect our grandparents because we love them”. In the meanwhile, militaries are building field hospitals in parks, and that’s the most frightening thing to me. Imagining being stuck there in the outside with a world record pollution rate!
      So we have tons of masks. With sequins, cats faces, with special pollution filters, with anticovid standards .. . At least we keep a special touch and save on make up 😉

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