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Year of Ox: Personality Traits, Horoscope, All-Life Forecast - Chinese Zodiac. Photo KnowInsiders

Who was born in the Year of Ox?

Recent years of the Ox include 2021, 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961, 1949 and 1937. If you were born in the year of an Ox, your Chinese zodiac sign is probably the Ox!

The Chinese zodiac year is usually said to start from Chinese New Year, which ranges from late January to mid-February. Therefore, if you were born in January or February in one of the above years, you might be an Ox, or possibly a Rat. Additionally, if you were born in January/February in one of the years immediately following those above (2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, etc.), then you may be an Ox or a Tiger.

In Chinese element theory, each zodiac sign is associated with one of the five elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Gold (Metal), and Water. Each Rat-element year corresponds with an element and comes once in a 60-year cycle. For example, 2021 is a year of the Metal Ox. The last Metal Ox year was 1961.

The Ox was supposed to be first
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Photo stuydycil

The ox is the second animal in the Chinese zodiac cycle, but it should have been the first. The reason for this comes from the mythological tale of the Great Race.

This story tells how the Jade Emperor, one of the most important Taoist gods, held a race where the first 12 winners would be chosen as the royal guard. The winners of this race ended up as the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac in the order that they finished.

The rat was initially in the lead but was unable to cross the river, so it tricked the ox into giving it a ride. It stayed on the ox’s back all the way to the finish, but then the rodent jumped down and scampered to the emperor first.

As a result, the rat became the first animal in the cycle, with the ox relegated to second.

Year of the Ox Dates

Ox Year




January 31, 2033 – February 18, 2034

Water Ox


February 12, 2021 – January 31, 2022

Metal Ox


January 26, 2009 – February 13, 2010

Earth Ox


February 7, 1997 – January 27, 1998

Fire Ox


February 19, 1985 – February 8, 1986

Wood Ox


February 3, 1973 – January 22, 1974

Water Ox


February 15, 1961 – February 4, 1962

Metal Ox


January 29, 1949 – February 16, 1950

Earth Ox


February 11, 1937 – January 31, 1938

Fire Ox


January 24, 1925 – February 12, 1926

Wood Ox

The Ox in Chinese language and culture

This year is the year of ox. Photo: Pinterest
Photo Pinterest

In Chinese, what we call "the Year of the Ox" in English is actually called 牛年 (Niúnián). Confusingly, the character 牛 (niú) is most commonly translated into English as "cow," not "ox."

It's unclear why 牛年 (Niúnián) is most commonly referred to as the "Year of the Ox" instead of the "Year of the Cow." Most probably, it has something to do with the fact that the Chinese character 牛 (niú) can in fact be used for various different types of bovines.

While cattle, oxen, water buffalo and bulls are technically different animals, the character 牛 (niú) can actually refer to them all. While the most accurate translation of 牛年 (Niúnián) might actually be "Year of the Bovine," "Year of the Ox" sounds a bit more poetic.

Throughout history, oxen and related animals like water buffalo have been used in farming, for transport and even in the military. They are relatively low-maintenance, grazing on grass and providing milk. They endlessly contribute and never ask for any rewards for helping with the harvest. Therefore, these animals are seen as being full of strength and considered to be the backbone of many agricultural societies.

In traditional Chinese culture, oxen and other bovines are true representatives of hard work and diligence, capable of enduring many hardships.

These positive connotations can be found reflected in the language. For example, in China, you will often hear the phrase 你很牛 (nǐ hěn niú; “you are very cow”). This phrase sounds strange in translation, but it is actually used as a compliment meaning that you are really great or really cool!

The Chinese character 牛 can actually refer to a variety of different bovines, not just oxen.

The Great Race and the origins of the Year of the Ox

If you are in any way familiar with the Chinese zodiac signs, you will have heard of The Great Race, which is one of several stories used to explain the origins of the Chinese zodiac.

According to legend, it all started when the Jade Emperor declared that the first 12 animals to cross to the other side of a mighty river would have a year named after them.

In some ways, the Ox was the true winner of the race, but his title was stolen from him by the Rat, who hid in the Ox's ear and jumped from the Ox's back after they had crossed the river. This trick allowed the Rat to cross the finish line first, forever relegating the Ox to second place in the eternal zodiac rotation.

Personality and Characteristics of the Ox

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Photo stuydycil

Oxen are honest and earnest. They are low key and never look for praise or to be the center of attention. This often hides their talent, but they’ll gain recognition through their hard work.

They believe that everyone should do what’s asked for them and stay within their bounds. Though they are kind, it’s difficult for them to understand persuasion using pathos. Rarely losing your temper, they think logically and make great leaders.





1961, 2021

These Oxen face obstacles early on, although there are no financial worries. Friends and family aren’t much help, but they will be able to enjoy a comfortable retirement.


1973, 2033

These Oxen have a comfortable early life and are respected their entire life. They will have a loving family, but it’s recommended to marry late.


1925, 1985

These Oxen are multitalented and live like a breeze. There are some difficulties in the beginning, but everything smooths out.


1937, 1997

These Oxen are friendly and social. There are no financial worries their entire life.


1949, 2009

These Oxen are detailed and like being the leader. They’re usually are make a lot of money, but can’t seem to hold onto it. However, they are able to slow down and enjoy their later years.

Personality and Characteristics of the Ox of people born in the Year of Ox

Men born in the Ox year are reliable and trustworthy. They put their entire heart into everything they do. They feel great responsibility towards their family as well. However, due to their confidence (almost arrogance), they don’t allow anyone to go against their rules. They hold your children to high expectations, even though it might be unrealistic.

Women born in the Ox year are calm and gentle. They will never surrender to fate and rarely think of choosing an alternative. This no doubt leads to a life of struggles. But no matter what, they will walk down the road they choose until the end. Despite this stubbornness, they think and react quickly.

Ox’s Personality by Blood Types

• Blood Type O: At work, they like to face all the problems alone and never ask for help until at the wits' end. Being the most loyal friend, they value friendship and will give a sincere hand to friends in trouble.

• Blood Type A: With a cautious character, their decisions come from a thorough thinking. And they never give up halfway, starting well and ending well, which helps them win the trust.

• Blood Type B: They have a clever mind, thinking about a lot of unusual and brilliant ideas. But they are too shy to express themselves. However, once the talent shows, their performances will be impressive.

• Blood Type AB: Having a strong personality, they are selfless and adhere to principles. Thus, people with blood type AB seldom change their views because of others’ thoughts.

Famous People: Ox Zodiac Eminent Personalities

Walt Disney (Co-founder of Walt Disney Productions): December 5, 1901, Metal Ox

Margaret Thatcher (British Prime Minister): 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

Having an Ox baby

Personality traits of the Ox baby

Cautious and patient

Ox are known to be one of the most cautious and patient out of all the Chinese Animal Zodiac signs. They prefer to take their time, which means you can rely on them to be more calculated and analytical when it comes to trying new things.

Very independent

Ox children are the most self-reliant of the bunch. These are kids who will spend hours on end trying to perfect a task just because they want to carve their own path. But children are children — as parents, we still need to watch over them and make sure their independence won’t let them do anything too crazy.


You can count on your baby Ox to be a model child. They’re usually amenable to their parents’ decisions — however, this will change when they get older. Oxes can be stubborn, especially when they learn more about the world.

They’ll do great at sports and school

Because they’re already so naturally disciplined and independent, your baby Ox will do great at school and sports. They won’t put up a fuss if presented with a routine and they’ll take any task given to them seriously and do it to the best of their ability.

What parents can do to nurture an Ox baby

Let them be!

Ox babies are very independent, which means they’ll want to do everything themselves. Parents, restrain yourselves (as much as you can) from helping them — even if it takes them hours to complete a single task. Letting them be shows your Ox baby that you trust them and their abilities.

Be supportive

As stubborn as they are, Ox babies tend to close themselves off when they feel misunderstood and it will take time before you get in their good graces again. Try and be as supportive as you can so this doesn’t happen!

Parents of Ox babies, you’re in luck. You’ve got yourself a baby born with personality traits that are all about strength, perseverance and hard work. Nurture these traits well and you’ve got an awesome kid… ’til they hit their teens.

Ox Compatibility with other signs

The most compatible signs with the Ox are the Snake, Rooster, and surprisingly, the Rat! This is because all of these signs are complementary to each other in intellect and habits, sharing the tendency to be goal orientated and conscious about attaining their objectives. They are considered deep thinkers and also share the same slowness in calculated decision making.

The Ox is least compatible with the Tiger, Dragon, Horse and Sheep.

The Tiger can manipulate the Ox to comply with its wishes. The Dragon is usually boisterous and likes showing off, which clashes with the Ox’s humble demeanor. Since each of them always want to take the lead, quarrels are inevitable.

The Horse is just as stubborn as the Ox, causing inflexibility and lack of communication. Likewise, the quick temper of the Ox can conflict with the inconsiderate nature of the Sheep, causing tempers to flare and sparking arguments.

Lucky things for Oxen

Colors: blue, yellow, green

Numbers: 1, 4

Flowers: lily of the valley and lucky bamboo

Directions of auspiciousness: East, Southeast

Directions of wealth: Northwest

Directions of love: South

Unlucky things for Oxen

The unlucky 本命年 (běnmìngnián)

The Year of the Ox is the Ox zodiac sign’s 本命年 (běnmìngnián), which roughly translates to “natal year.” As the name suggests, this marks the time when a person has finished passing through another 12-year zodiac cycle and has again reached his or her own zodiac year.

If you were born in an Ox year, every subsequent Year of the Ox is your 本命年 (běnmìngnián).

In general, a person born under the Ox zodiac sign is believed to have a life of labor and hard work ahead of them. But as long as those with this sign stay true to themselves and utilize their strengths, they will eventually reap the rewards of their hard work. By relying on continuous effort, they will succeed and achieve their goals.

Unlucky Colors: red, brown

Unlucky Numbers: 3, 6

Year of the Ox 2022 Predictions

Overview: After going through their ‘birth sign year’ (2021), people born in the year of the Ox will meet a better time in 2022 with good health, an enjoyable love life, and a smooth career path.

Love and Relationship: Single Oxes will have a big chance to find a girlfriend/boyfriend or get married.

Oxes can expect good help from other people in 2022, but personal effort is still the most important. Their career luck will be good with a high possibility of getting promoted.

How to Build Relationships with "Ox People"

Ox people are not good at communicating with others, so they have less social intercourse. They prefer to stay alone and enjoy solitude instead of participating in group activities. However, they treat friends sincerely and place high value on friendship.

For love relationships, Oxen tend to keep long-term relationship with their lovers. Frequent changes of lover make them uncomfortable. Ladies of the Ox zodiac sign lack femininity. If they can realize their inadequacies, and change their cautious attitude of indifference to affection and enthusiasm, they will have love relationships to their hearts' desire.

Oxes’ luck with money will fluctuate. There might be some trouble or an accident resulting in financial loss. Oxes should be careful of entering into monetary relationships with others in 2022.

Good Health for Oxes: Oxes are strong and robust; they can enjoy a fairly healthy and long life, which is fulfilled with little illness.

Because of their hard work with a stubborn personality, they often spend too much time in their work, rarely allowing themselves enough time to relax, and tend to forget meals, which make them have intestinal problems. So enough rest and a regular diet are needed for Oxes to work efficiently.

With a stubborn temperament, they find it easy to bear stress and tension, and they are reluctant to reveal themselves to others. Proper relaxation and regular short trips will benefit the Ox.

Best Careers for Oxes: As the symbol of hard work, Ox people always work hard at everything and stick to finishing it. Possessing a serious and responsible attitude toward work, they can come up with different approaches to their task.

With a keen eye for details and an admirable work ethic, they are competent in such careers as agriculture, manufacturing, pharmacy, mechanics, engineering, draftsmanship, artistry, politics, real estate, interior design, painting, carpentry, or quarry work.

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