The Year of the Ox

Year of the Ox

Oxen are important agricultural animals. They are strong, industrious animals that were used throughout China’s history to work the land. These beasts of burden also show up in tales from Chinese mythology. Those born under the Year of the Ox embody the traits of this essential animal and symbolize diligence, persistence, and honesty. People born under the sign of the Ox are patriotic and represent China’s unbreakable spirit. Though they possess many noteworthy traits, people born under the Ox can be narrow minded, prejudiced, and slow.

Basic Astrology Elements

Though most people are aware of the yearly assignment of the Chinese Zodiac signs, Chinese astrology digs deeper and each sign is also tied to a month, day, and hours. The sign of the year you were born represents how you present yourself, your birth month represents your inner self, the day of your birth is your true self, and the hour you were born reveals your secret self. Figuring out your 4 pillars can help you gain a deeper understanding of yourself.

The Ox is in the 2nd position on the 12- year cycle of the Chinese Zodiac.

Years of the Ox: 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, and 2021

Earthly Branch of Birth Year: 丑 Chǒu

Wu Xing (The Five Elements): Earth (Tu)

Yin Yang: Yin

Chinese Symbol: The Year of the Ox Niú

Season: Winter

Lunar Month: 12th

Gregorian Date and Western Zodiac Equivalent: Jan 6-Jan 19 Capricorn or Jan 20-Feb 3 Aquarius

Solar Term and Longitude: 284°小寒 Xiǎohán or 299°大寒 Dàhán

Hours (based on local solar time): 01:00 – 02:59 This is the time when Oxen begin to chew the cud slowly and comfortably.

Days: Zodiac animal of the day you were born can be calculated here:

Personality Traits

With its reputation as an animal paramount to the success of ancient China, the ox holds a special place in China’s heart. Those born under the sign of the Ox return China’s love and are dependable, faithful, and patriotic people who have an unwavering love for their country. People born during the Year of Ox are also hardworking, patient, and steady. Though they are reliable people, Ox people share the animal’s stubborn streak. Oxen are often people who are prejudiced, narrow minded, and inarticulate.

Positive Traits: Diligent, Dependable, Honest, Persistent, Patient, Cautious, Levelheaded, Kind

Negative Traits: Inarticulate, Stubborn, Prudish, Distant, Prejudiced, Indifferent, Slow, Narrow minded

Elemental Variation

Though all elemental variations of the Ox share similar traits, the particular element they were born under affects which traits are dominant in an Ox’s character.

Wood Ox: 1925 and 1985

Wood oxen are merciful, upright, easy going, and generous people. They are righteous people, always ready to defend the weak against injustice. Though their introversion and antisocial nature leaves them with few friends, they are selfless and take good care of the few friends they do have. Wood oxen can be too strong minded and straightforward, they aren’t always aware that they have offended someone with their words. They have some trouble in their love life because they lack the skills to express themselves fully.

Fire Ox: 1937 and 1997

Unlike other ox, fire oxen are clever and quick-witted. However, they are also narrow minded, selfish and shortsighted. They have high standards for their love. Though they fall in love quickly, they fall out of love just as fast. They are likely to fall in love with someone lively and cheerful. Wood oxen have bad luck with romantic relationships and often divorce. They are crazy about power and love to fish for fame and recognition. With strict budgeting, they have good luck with wealth.

Earth Ox: 1949 and 2009

Earth oxen are careful calculators and make strict budgets for every aspect of their life. They haggle over everything and are careful not to take on more than they can handle. This ensures that they rarely suffer any loses in life. Earth oxen value fairness and believe in the balance of distributing resources amongst everyone. In business, they make good partners and never cheat people. Their kind hearts and strong sense of responsibility are attractive to the opposite sex. Earth oxen are concerned with how others perceive them and will go to great lengths to salvage their reputation. However, they aren’t afraid to own up to their mistakes.

Metal Ox: 1961

Metal oxen like to keep busy and active, often neglecting to eat and sleep. They are popular among people and highly praised. Others easily use them because of their compassionate nature and how much they value friendships. They have weak family relationships and have to rely on themselves to find success. Metal oxen are very popular with the opposite sex, which leads to many one-night stands and extra-marital affairs. Once they are married, metal oxen need to be wary of love triangles. They are lucky in wealth, but lack thriftiness and spend too much too quickly.

Water Ox: 1973

People born as water oxen just want to keep their heads down, work hard, and avoid trouble. Like other oxen, they have a great sense of justice and make good leaders. Sometimes they can get ahead of themselves, and think they are cleverer than they actually are. They make snap judgements without listening to others’ opinions first. They value their own strength and don’t rely on luck to get what they want. Though water oxen place great importance on social status and personal wealth, they don’t waste their time on frivolous people or things.

Career Options

Oxen enjoy structure and rigidity and they would fail in jobs that allowed too much freedom and flexibility. They are determined people who always finish their tasks no matter what. They enjoy doing work that takes time and great willpower. Their career path is often stable, and through persistent and diligent work, oxen can rise to positions of power.
Best Career Options: Animal Husbandry, Manufacturing, Pharmacy, Carpenter, Farmer, Engineer, Quarry Worker, Real Estate


Those born during the Year of the Ox enjoy favorable wealth throughout their lives. However, they don’t solely rely on luck to achieve their goals and prefer to work tenaciously for what they want.

Lucky Numbers: 1, 9
Lucky Colors: Blue, Red, Purple
Lucky Flowers: Tulip, Evergreen, Peach Blossom
Lucky Directions: North and South
Lucky Days: The 13th and 27th of every Chinese lunar months
Lucky Months: The 7th and 9th Chinese lunar months

Unlucky Numbers: 3, 4
Unlucky Colors: White, Green
Unlucky Directions: Southwest
Unlucky Months: The 4th and 11th Chinese lunar months


Oxen are usually very serious about marriage and see romance as a means to an end. Though they seem bland and hard on the outside, oxen are truly soft and generous in love. Oxen tend to have poor communication skills and trouble making friends. This doesn’t bother them much as they prefer solitude over large social gatherings. They treat the few friends they have sincerely and rely on them for support. They are balanced in their relationships and try to avoid disputes.

Best Matches: Rat, Rooster, Monkey

Oxen pair well with people who can bring out their true feelings in a loving and safe way. Rats and oxen cooperate well with one another and have harmonious relationships. The colorful Rooster is able to draw out the best in an Ox and will be truly devoted to them even through difficult times. Monkeys and Oxen have many similar interests and can successfully learn and grow together.

Worst Matches: Dragon, Horse, Sheep

Due to the oxen’s stubborn and unyielding nature, they match poorly with people who possess similar traits. Dragons and Oxen both want to be the leader in the relationship and will constantly clash. Horse and Oxen communicate poorly and they will never understand each other. Sheep and Oxen are polar opposites in temperament and this is a difference they can never overcome.

Good Friends: Pig

Oxen struggle with making friends because they have trouble communicating and relating to others. Pigs and Oxen have similar traits and a mutual sympathy for one another. Though they have differences, they understand each other and make good friends.