TODAY marks Chinese New Year, with billions of people around the world welcoming the start of the Year of the Ox.
With a tumultuous Year of the Rat coming to a close, the beginning of a new zodiac year is a big moment in Chinese culture.
While astrology fans will be eager to work out exactly what the change means for their sign, it’s important to know that animals are only part of the way the Chinese years are defined.
There are five elements in Chinese astrology: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth. Today marks the year of the Metal Ox.
The meaning is taken incredibly seriously in China and people use it to determine whether or not to make huge life decisions during the year ahead, including getting married, having kids or starting a business.
Many believe each person’s own birth sign will be affected differently by the year’s heavenly stems and earthly branches.
WHAT DOES THE YEAR OF THE OX SYMBOLIZE?
2021 is the Year of the Ox, which was previously celebrated in 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009.
The Ox is the symbol of hard work and honesty and people born in Ox years think logically and make great leaders.
The Year of the Ox is also denoted by the earthy branch symbol “chou.”
In terms of yin and yang, the Ox is yang.
WHAT DOES MY CHINESE ZODIAC MEAN?
The Chinese animal zodiac or shengxiao, which means “born resembling,” is arranged in a repeating cycle of 12 years. There are 12 animals in the cycle.
The animal changes at the beginning of the Chinese New Year, and traditionally these animals were used to date the years.
Chinese New Year is a movable celebration, dictated by the lunar cycle.
The Ox is the zodiac animal for 2021 – and 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961, 1949, 1937 and 1925 were all also Ox years.