China’s traditional agricultural society holds cattle in high esteem. Regrettably, Rat beat out Ox for the leading position in the Chinese zodiac, leaving Ox in second place. People love and appreciate cattle because they produce milk on nothing but grass, labor tirelessly, and bear burdens willingly. It is believed that Ox’s great strength can empower the small and weak, so the idiom “possessing the spirit of an ox” is used as a metaphor for a person who is strong and determined. On the other hand, the phrase “blowing cow” is used to describe a person who is full of hot air.

The sad and beautiful tale of the Cowherd and the Weaver Maid is familiar throughout China. The Weaver Maid, daughter of the goddess Wangmu Niangniang, fell in love with a mortal cowherd, and they married and had two children in the human world. He farmed the land and she wove cloth, and together they lived in harmony, depending on each other for everything. But their happiness was not to last. Their little family was torn apart when Wangmu Niangniang cast them into the heavens, with the Milky Way forming an impassable barrier between them. Ever since, they can only meet once a year, on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. For the duration of this one night, heavenly magpies form a bridge across the Milky Way, allowing the Cowherd and their children to cross over and be reunited with the Weaver Maid.


Like the diligent and earnest ox, people born in the Year of the Ox are enterprising, cautious, and sure-footed by nature. They carefully consider the consequences of their actions, stand by their convictions, and have great endurance and patience. People born in the Year of the Ox attach great importance to both work and home, are conservative, and respect tradition. Capricorn is the Western zodiac sign that corresponds to Ox.

People born in the Year of the Ox can also be bull-headed and stubborn, and are not particularly good at social interaction.

People whose birthdays fall during the following periods are born in the Year of the Ox:


The first date indicates Lunar New Year’s Day. The second date indicates the last day of the lunar year.

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