Chinese culture, dating back thousands of years is rich and intricate. Its history is varied, fascinating, and legendary from godlike Emperors to majestic dynasties. An important part of the culture is the Chinese Zodiac. Twelve animals comprise the\u00a0 Zodiac, each representing a different year. The cycle is renewed every twelve years. Photo Credit: Architectural Ceramics Theory of Chinese 5 Element\u00a0\u00a0 What may not be so well recognised is that the Chinese Zodiac is also influenced by the 5 Elements or Wu Xing\u00a0Theory. Wood, earth, metal, water, and fire are the Five Elements. While the elements do not have hierarchy, they influence the Zodiac, in addition to other ancient Eastern traditions namely feng shui and acupuncture among others. Photo Credit: Pinterest The Elemental Zodiac Animal Next year, the Zodiac animal is the Ox, with metal as its Element. As such, come February 12, 2021, we will herald in the Year of the Metal Ox. In Chinese culture, colours play a very important role in celebrations. The Chinese New Year is the biggest celebration of all, and of course we want to be our best welcome to the New Year. The adherents of Fung Shui\u00a0also pay particular attention to the coordination of colours with each Zodiac animal and its Element. To the uninitiated, this may sound very complicated, and to some extent it does. As such, we are not going to delve too deeply into that. But to help you welcome with your best foot in the New Year, here are some colours you might want to wear. Photo Credit: Office Holidays Vibrant Reds Red is by far the best colour for the season, and may I have seen it. The brighter and more vibrant the better.\u00a0 In Chinese culture, red represents fire, in addition to happiness, beauty, vitality, good luck, fortune, and success.\u00a0 As such, it is common to see red lanterns and cloth decorating the entrances of homes, or businesses.\u00a0 Brides and grooms are wearing red in traditional Chinese weddings. Lucky money, or \u201cAng Pao\u201d\u00a0is exchanged in red packets as well. Red is believed to be warding off evil spirits. Firecrackers, which are a must-have for the celebrations, usually come in red and are lit to scare off evil spirits. When in doubt, use the red about! Photo Credit: Precious Wedding Glorious Gold Whether worn as a garment or an ornament, gold is the symbol of wealth, good fortune, and good luck. Gold lends depth and breadth of sophistication to any attire. Dressed in gold, you are all set to ring the New Year with style, festivity, and joy. Photo Credit: PAMP Royal Yellow The Yellows correspond to the Earth element. It also symbolises the royalty and the Emperor. Ancient China has been ruled by emperors. In fact, the first Emperor of China was known as the Yellow Emperor, and China was once called the Yellow Earth. Imperial palaces dotted with the land, especially those in the Forbidden City, are topped with yellow glazed tiles. The Huang He River is also named after the colour. Photo Credit: Shopping in Beijing Pretty In Pink Pinks are a good alternative to red on New Year festivities. It is a sweet, cheerful, innocent feeling, and it is uplifting moods. Plus, it comes in a variety of shades so that there is something out there for everyone. Photo Credit: Freepik Cultural Faux Pas Dark colours are generally not worn during the New Year, with black being a no-no, at least traditionally. Modern Malaysia sees a lot of donning black during the festivities, but it is best avoided if it is to be safe and not to upset sensitivities. In addition, steer clear from all-white garments. Black and white are usually worn in funerals. However, pants or skirts in any colour are acceptable. Photo Credit: From Behind The Pen - WordPress.com While this year will be different type of celebration, given the current Movement Control Order (MCO), we can still ring in colourful style in the New Year. Here to welcome in the Metal Ox Year with bright, festive cheer and a bang! Wishing one and all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!\u00a0Gong Xi Fa Cai!