Muskox with newborn in the central Arctic coastal plain in Alaska, USA
© Steven Kazlowski/Danita Delimon
The year of the Ox
Today marks the start of Chinese New Year festivities, which continue until 26 February. The exact date varies each year on the solar/Gregorian calendar, as Chinese New Year follows the lunar calendar. Under the Chinese zodiac system one animal (and its reputed attributes) is assigned to represent each year, in a 12-year repeating cycle. This year is the Year of the Ox. The others are Rat, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.
This muskox (or musk ox) and its newborn calf were photographed in the central Arctic coastal plain in the US state of Alaska. In Chinese culture, the ox is seen as hardworking, reliable and strong, in addition to being calm and contemplative. Sounds like traits we can all aspire to in 2021. Happy new year!