We’re Entering the Year of the Ox. Here’s What It Means

year of the ox

Feeling like 2021 could already use a re-do? Well, you’re in luck! This Friday—February 12, 2021—is the Chinese New Year. Celebrated at the second new moon following the Winter Solstice, Chinese New Year is also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival. This is because according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, this festival marks the end of winter and the beginning of a long-awaited spring! Using the Chinese Zodiac, 2021 is the Year of the Ox. So what does this Year of the Ox have in store for us? And will it be better than 2020 (The Year of the Rat)? Let’s find out.

Was I born during the Year of the Ox?

If you were born in 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997 or 2009, you were born during the Year of the Ox. Famous people born during Ox years include Barack Obama, Princess Diana, Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Issa Rae, Chrissy Teigen and the world’s youngest billionaire, Kylie Jenner. That’s some good company!

Ox are known for being industrious and reliable. Also quite honest and earnest, Ox are happy to do their thing in the background without needing to be the center of attention or getting constant praise. Humble queens! Though this also means they tend to hide their talent, they’re always recognized for their hard work.

So what’s in store for the Year of the Ox?

The Year of the Rat (2020) obviously didn’t go as we expected it would. Sure, it was meant to be a creative year that was full of change, but we didn’t mean that kind of change, ok? Rats are all about resourcefulness though (think: hoarding cheese) and if nothing else, 2020 forced us to make the best out of a difficult situation. Now what about this year? As much as the Rat is quick-witted, the Ox is methodical (think: plowing). The Year of the Ox will be a year of endurance. It’s no longer just about survival but about anchoring ourselves and concretizing our dreams.

The Ox is associated with Yin (feminine, receptive) energy. Our responsibilities will feel especially heavy this year. Things that were once easy will require more effort in the Year of the Ox. Our strength is undeniable, but we still have to choose our battles wisely.

In addition to the animals, the Chinese Zodiac also cycles through five elemental types. So this is not only the Year of the Ox, it is the year of the Metal Ox. Metal years bring out our most dedicated and persistent qualities and this being our second Metal Year in a row makes grittiness a priority. Overall, this is a year for recovering, making long-term investments (might be time to finally get into Bitcoin) or building a family. Whatever we’re pursuing, what we need most in the Year of the Ox is discipline.

I’m an Ox. Is 2021 going to be my best year ever?

Born under this sign, you might think that the Year of the Ox is your time to shine but, sadly, it’s actually the opposite. Traditionally, a zodiac sign’s year is the most unlucky for them in Chinese astrology. That said, with 2021 being about quality rather than quantity for all of the signs, as an Ox, you know better than most of us how to humbly get to work. You may also be rewarded this year for projects that have been brewing for under the surface for a long time and are now ready to shine.

Though this isn’t the ideal year for the Ox, this year will be great for Rats (who aren’t afraid to play dirty), Snakes (who love to strategize), Horses (who do everything gracefully) and Roosters (who keep a tight schedule). Pigs and Monkeys could also get lucky if they avoid their usual schemes and play by the Ox’s rules.

What brings Ox luck this year?

The Chinese believe that certain symbols, directions and colors are auspicious for each zodiac sign. This can apply to those born as that sign as well as for all of us during that particular zodiac year. During the Year of the Ox those are...

Colors: Blue, Yellow, Green

Numbers: 1, 4

Flowers: Lily of the Valley, Lucky Bamboo

Directions of auspiciousness: East, Southeast

Directions of wealth: Northwest

Directions of love: South

Happy Year of the Ox! TL;DR: This year’s mantra is “Get serious.”

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Jaime Wright


Jaime Wright is an astrologer and writer based in NYC. She has been writing PureWow’s weekly and monthly horoscope columns since 2019, and also authors the cult favorite...
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