Muskox with newborn in the central Arctic coastal plain of Alaska
© Steven Kazlowski/Danita Delimon
The year of the Ox
Today marks the start of Chinese New Year festivities, which continue through February 26. Because the holiday goes by the lunar calendar, the date of Chinese New Year on our solar/Gregorian calendar changes each year. The Chinese New Year also comes with a turn of the zodiac, which is divided into 12 parts, with each part represented by a different animal. The zodiac system assigns a single animal and its attributes to represent each year, and 2021 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 were photographed on the north slope of the Brooks Range in the central Arctic coastal plain in 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!