The Ox is the second of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. The Ox was about to be the first to arrive, but Rat tricked Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived, Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox. Thus, Ox became the second animal.

The Ox is also associated with the Earthly Branch (地支—dì zhī) Chǒu (丑) and the hours 1–3 in the morning. In the terms of yin and yang (阴阳—yīn yáng), the Ox is Yang.

In Chinese culture, the Ox is a valued animal. Because of its role in agriculture, positive characteristics, such as being hardworking and honest, are attributed to it.

Oxen are the hard workers in the background, intelligent and reliable, but never demanding praise.

Recent years of the Ox are: 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021

Paired with the Celestial Stems (天干—Tiān gān), there is a 60-year calendrical cycle. Although chǒu is associated with earth, the years also cycle through the five elements of nature (五行—wǔ xíng).

See the table below for the full details of each year.

Year Celestial Stem Earthly Branch Zodiac Element Yin Yang
1925 chǒu Ox Wood Yin
1937 ding chǒu Ox Fire Yin
1949 chǒu Ox Earth Yin
1961 xīn chǒu Ox Metal Yin
1973 guǐ chǒu Ox Water Yin
1985 chǒu Ox Wood Yin
1997 ding chǒu Ox Fire Yin
2009 chǒu Ox Earth Yin
2021 xīn chǒu Ox Metal Yin

Personality and characteristics

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.

Element Year Fortune
Metal 1961 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.
Water 1973 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.
Wood 1925, 1985 These Oxen are multitalented and live like a breeze. There are some difficulties in the beginning, but everything smooths out.
Fire 1937, 1997 These Oxen are friendly and social. There are no financial worries their entire life.
Earth 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.

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.


Most compatible with Ox: Rat, Snake, Rooster

Rat’s fixed Earthly Branch is water, while Ox is earth. They have complementing personalities and hold the same goals in life.

Snake and Rooster fit Ox nicely as well. Not only will Snakes give warmth and romance, they offer help and support in work too. Honest and loyal, they can also be attracted to the Rooster’s soft and loving heart.

Least compatible with Ox: Goat, Horse, Dog

The Earthly Branches of Goat and Ox clash strongly. They can tolerate each other’s differences, but there will always be tension.

Horses have a free and wild spirit, and may not have a serious attitude toward life. This is the opposite of an Ox’s personality. With Dogs, it’s hard to find common ground.

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

  • Colors:red, brown
  • Numbers: 3, 6

Careers fit for Oxen

Oxen often group family and work together. They look for long-term and steady work. Because of this, they are studious in school and perform well in every subject. This helps build a strong support for any future career path.

Because of their low-key personality, a stable job is the best for Oxen. Their strong sense of responsibility also makes them the perfect candidate for professional and stressful jobs. These include doctors, lawyers, businessmen and teachers. With their technical skills and effort, they can receive society’s recognition and reach their own standards.

No matter what career they choose, it must something they are really interested in. Though they may be okay with any job that fits their skills, they should take the time to find something they love. Only in a stable environment that matches their passions, are they able to find their true calling.

Health and lifestyle

Like the wild oxen that run freely in the fields, people of the Ox year are healthy and fit. Hospital visits are rare, but this sometimes leads to overconfidence. Neglect during youth will result in problems in the later years.

As workaholics, Oxen will sometimes go days with minimal food and rest, then binge on both. Irregular diets will lead to indigestion and problems with the digestive system. Irregular exercise is what causes you to fall ill with “random” ailments.

Once they reach the middle ages, there is high risk of heart disease. Strokes are another risk. In addition, they commonly suffer from joint pain.

Most of these issues stem from irregular exercise. For a healthy life, they need to remember to take breaks from work, stretch and relax.

Ox in the Year of the Dog (2018)

Though the Ox clashes slightly with the Dog, there is hope for 2018. They should be able to turn misfortunes to your advantage and use it to create a better path for the next year.


Work will be stressful this year. The future is unclear and there are many pitfalls. Miscalculation will lead to failure. So Oxen must stay clearheaded and plan each step they take this year. Be aware and cautious of scams as bad luck will pass and return.

Successful months are: Lunar March (April 16-May 14), September (Oct 9-Nov 7) and December (Jan 6-Feb 4, 2019).

The months with most work obstacles are: Lunar January (Feb 16-March 16), May (June 14-July 12), June (July 13-August 10), August (Sept 30-Oct 8) and October (Nov 8-Dec 6).


It’s hard to stay focused on education this year. Oxen may easily be affected by fake friends and fall behind on studies. Be careful and try to see each person for who they are. Do not listen to the negative comments they may say.


Oxen will enjoy good health this year, but there may be stomach problems. They should pay attention to sanitary conditions and prevent food poisoning. Traffic safety should be a concern as well.

Healthy months are: Lunar July (August 11-Sept 9), September (Oct 9-Nov 7) and December (Jan 6-Feb 4, 2019).

Months where Oxen must be careful with their health are: Lunar January (Feb 16-March 16), February (March 17-April 15), March (April 16-May 14) and November (Dec 7-Jan 5, 2019).


There will be good luck with finding love this year. However, Oxen should be wary of people who might tear the relationship apart.

The sweet months are: Lunar February (March 17-April 15), July (August 11-Sept 9), September (Oct 9-Nov 7) and December (Jan 6-Feb 4, 2019).

Months where relationship problems will easily occur are: Lunar May (June 14-July 12), August (Sept 30-Oct 8) and November (Dec 7-Jan 5, 2019).


The directions of fortune and wealth for Oxen this year are northeast and southwest. It would be the best to put the bed, worktable and sofa in these positions of the room. Lucky numbers that will open the road to wealth are 5 and 9.

To avoid evil spirits, do not put important furniture in the south and east.

The lucky colors in 2018 are green, white and blue. Decorating the home or wearing these colors will help greatly with changing luck for the better. Colors to be avoided are red and yellow.

The Dog Year is also known as the Vacation Year. It’s a great time for travels to foreign countries. Use this as an excuse to take a well-deserved break.

Overall, the 2018 Year of the Dog may not be the best year of Oxen. However, their dependent personality and hard work will pay off in the long run.

People born of the Ox year will be able to find their own comfortable lifestyle. Just make sure not to work too hard!