Lunar New Year during quarantine.
Lunar New Year during quarantine. By Toby R. Ma

Vision: “Year of the Metal Ox”

This year, the pandemic altered Lunar New Year under celebrations across the globe.
By Toby R. Ma

As part of the Visions category, a design from Toby R. Ma.

As with many other holidays in the past year, last Friday’s Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations were unlike any from years past. All across the United States, lockdown and gathering restrictions remain in place, while the Chinese government restricted the annual migration of hundreds of millions of its citizens, who normally travel home to celebrate the New Year with their families. While some places held smaller celebrations, the general atmosphere of the holiday is very much absent.

As someone born in the U.S. to Chinese immigrants, my Chinese New Year celebrations were always small, usually just between my parents, brother, and me. However, living in a single dorm on a limited-capacity campus during a global pandemic, I feel especially isolated from friends and family. It has only been a few years since I last visited my relatives in China, but nonetheless I feel more disconnected from them — so much has changed in the time that has elapsed.

Based on some online horoscopes, the Year of the Metal Ox will be defined by hard work and many obstacles, but also be a year when one’s efforts will ultimately be rewarded. During a time that has already tested many of us, let’s hope our endeavors will succeed, and we can return to a time where we can gather again, as a family.