Year of the Ox

year of the Ox

In a famous Chinese legend, the Jade Emperor decreed that the order of the guests would be decided by who arrived first. The Ox was supposed to be the first to arrive, but Rat convinced Ox to let him sit on his back.

Then when they arrived, the Rat jumped off the Ox’s back and was thus the first animal to arrive. As such, the Ox became the second animal in the Chinese calendar.

The Year of the Ox is the perfect time to become more like the Ox’s ideal, becoming dedicated, tough and persistent. An Ox year is the ideal time to adventure and complete what you set out to do, with very thorough planning needless to say.

The Ox is linked with the Earthly Branch Chǒu and the first hours of the morning, from 1 AM to 3 AM. When it comes to Yin and Yang, the Ox is Yang.

The most important years of the Ox cover: 2033, 2021, 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961, 1949, and 1937. The Year of the Ox happens every twelve years.

The Ox Personality

Oxen are the ones putting in blood, sweat and tears, who are smart and reputable but do not seek the applause of the crowd.

In Chinese culture, the Ox is known as a very valuable creature. Due to its job in farming, it is associated with very positive features, like being industrious and sincere.

Oxen are not the best at socializing, so they don’t talk to too many people. They would rather be alone and enjoy silence rather than being out in a group. Despite this, they are honest with their friends and price them highly.

They are notorious for being the strongest out of all the 12 Chinese zodiac signs, being called “the good helper”. In the Chinese rural tradition, someone born as an Ox is considered a token of sincerity, perseverance, physical prowess and diligence.

Coupled with the Celestial Stems, it forms a 60 year period. Even though chǒu has strong ties to earth, the years go through all the five elements.

The Year of the Ox and the Five Elements

In the Chinese Theory of Elements, every zodiac sign is tied to one out of the five elements: Wood, Gold (also known as Metal), Earth, Water and Fire. Each animal year correlates with an element which appears once every 60 years. To give an example, 2021 was the Year of the Metal Ox, while the last Metal Ox Year was back in 1961.

Metal – 1961 and 2021- They are known to face problems at first, but there won’t be any trouble with their money. Their friends and family won’t be very supportive but they will have a pleasant retirement.

Water – 1973 and 2033 – They will have it easy early on in their lives and will be looked up to for all their life. Their family will support them, but they should marry late.

Wood – 1925 and 1985 – They have many talents and will have a fairly good life, although the start of their life will be rougher than most.

Fire – 1937 and 1997 – They are very welcoming and nice, and they won’t experience any financial hardships in their lives.

Earth – 1949 and 2009 – They are meticulous and want to be in charge. These Oxen generally make tons of money, although they always seem to lose it. But, they will mature and enjoy their old age.

Lucky Elements for Those Born in the Year of the Ox

Lucky elements for Oxes:

  • Lucky numbers: 1, 4, and all the numbers containing them ( such as 14 and 41)
  • Lucky colors: green, white and yellow
  • Lucky flowers: tulip and peach blossom
  • Lucky directions: north and south

Unlucky things for Oxes:

  • Unlucky numbers: 5 and 6, and numbers containing them (such as 56 and 65)
  • Unlucky color: blue
  • Unlucky point: south-west

Love and Oxen

When it comes to love, the Ox yearn for long-term relationships with their partners. They dislike changing their partners often. Women born in the Year of the Ox aren’t very feminine. They can however change this with a careful attitude, love and passion, which will lead to the relationships they desire.

Best Matches: Rat, Snake, Rooster

The Ox and the Rat are made for each other and the Ox and the Snake have similar philosophies and beliefs and are very passionate about each other.

The Ox and the Rooster can easily explore common interests and lead a life as a happy couple.

Bad Matches: Tiger, Dragon, Horse, Dog

When it comes to these four though, The Ox should tread carefully if they meet them in their daily life, as their lifestyles don’t align.

Horses have a freedom-driven personality, which clashes with the serious attitude of the Ox. When it comes to Dogs, they do not share many opinions with the Ox, which makes communication difficult.

Best Careers for Ox

Being the pinnacle of diligence and hard work, the Ox will always persist and finish what they have started.

As they are very dependable and determined, they will think outside the box and try to solve problems in many different ways.

As they have an intuition for detail and are very diligent, they are very prized in fields such as politics, farming, design and art, engineering and many other fields which highly value these qualities.

Regardless of their career of choice, they should choose something they have a passion for. Although they may be fine working any job that requires their skills, they should pick one which they really enjoy. They will only find their actual calling in a domain which they are passionate about.


Oxen are powerful and tough; they will have a long and good life, without sickness and infirmity.

Due to their hardworking and relentless nature, they will focus too much on their work and will forget to relax and eat, which will lead to stomach aches and possible complications. And so they must have plenty of rest and eat a good diet to work well.

Famous Oxen

  • Vincent Van Gogh: March 30, 1853, Water Ox
  • Walt Disney: December 5, 1901, Gold Ox
  • Margaret Thatcher: October 13, 1925, Wood Ox
  • Diana Spencer (Princess of Wales): July 1, 1961, Metal Ox
  • Barack Obama (44th US President): August 4, 1961, Metal Ox
  • Bruno Mars (Singer): October 8, 1985, Wood Ox
  • Paul Walker (Actor): September 12, 1973, Water Ox
  • Louis Armstrong (Musician): August 4, 1901, Metal Ox
  • Pablo Escobar (Drug Lord): December 1, 1949, Earth Ox
  • George Clooney (Actor): May 6, 1961, Metal Ox