According to legend, when the Jade Emperor held his great race across the river, the Ox was assured to win first place, as he was a natural-born swimmer. However, out of kindness, he agreed to carry the cunning Rat on his back. Just before they reached the finish line, the Rat jumped off his snout and landed on the bank in first place. Having been so rudely tricked, the Ox had to settle for second place in the zodiac.
Years of the Ox
If you were born in the years 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, or 2021 then you belong to the sign of the Ox. That being said, the Chinese zodiac follows the Chinese lunar calendar, which begins in late-January or early-February. For example, Chinese New Year fell on February 20th in 1985 so, if you were born before that date, you belong to the Year of the Rat and not the Year of the Ox. Just don’t go gloating to other Ox people about your last minute victory!
Lucky Signs and Symbols
If you’re an Ox person, be sure to look out for the numbers 1, 4, 5, and 6. One and four are your magic numbers, while five and six are sure to bring you woe! White, yellow, and green are your lucky colours, but blue will herald only misfortune.
Characteristics of the Ox
Those born in the Year of the Ox are said to be diligent, dependable, strong, determined, honest, patriotic, and ambitious, with strong ties to their family and traditional values. Much like their beefy counterpart, they are no stranger to hard work, making them well-suited for careers where they can get their hands dirty!
While they excel at physical tasks, they struggle in social situations, as they are poor communicators and can be very set in their ways. Though they have plenty of friends, their inarticulate and stubborn nature means they prefer solo activities and do not work well in groups.
When it comes to the nebulous world of romance, the Ox is most compatible with the Rat, the Snake, and the Rooster. Evidently the Ox got over the Rat’s betrayal after all! The Rabbit and the Dog can also make for suitable matches, while matches with the Monkey or another Ox will prove to be distinctly average. The Pig can either be the perfect match or the Ox’s worst enemy, but the Ox should absolutely steer clear of the Tiger, the Dragon, the Horse, and the Sheep!
The Ox’s love of manual labour and their excellent work ethnic means they are well-suited to careers in carpentry, agriculture, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, politics, mechanics, craftsmanship, interior decorating, and engineering.
How to Manage Your Relationship with the Ox
Those born under the sign of the Ox are said to be notoriously poor at communicating with others, so they are markedly introverted and prefer solitude to engaging in group activities. They take the few friendships that they have very seriously and thus make for loyal, dependable companions.
When it comes to romantic relationships, the Ox is similarly dedicated and tends towards long-term relationships, as frequent break-ups or new relationships make them feel deeply uncomfortable. They may not be particularly passionate or enthusiastic partners, but they more than make up for it by being especially honest and reliable.
The Elemental Cycle
As we mentioned in our introduction to the Chinese zodiac, the 12-year animal cycle is part of a much wider 60-year elemental cycle, meaning that each year of the zodiac is also assigned an element. People born in 1925 or 1985 belong to the Year of the Wood Ox, lending them the extra qualities of restlessness, decisiveness, straightforwardness, and a capacity to always defend the weak and helpless. The Fire Oxen, who were born in 1937 or 1997, are known for being short-sighted, selfish, narrow-minded, impersonal, but practical in nature.
Anyone born in 1949 or 2009 is an Earth Ox, meaning they are honest and prudent, with a strong sense of responsibility. Those born in 1961 or 2021 are Metal Oxen, who are renowned for being hardworking, active, always busy, and popular among their friends. Finally, the Water Oxen of 1973 are hardworking, ambitious, tenacious, keen observers who are able to endure hardship and have a strong sense of justice.
So next time you call someone a dumb Ox and they don’t respond, it’s probably because they’re too busy ploughing their way to the top!