The Year of the Rat is traditionally a turbulent one, and 2020 was no exception. Thankfully, with Chinese New Year fast approaching, there’s a new beginning on the horizon. The Year of the Ox promises to usher in a new year of cautious optimism.
To learn more about what’s in store, we spoke with Cheang Weng U, president of the Association of Geomancy, Chiromancy and Numerology, in Macao. Here’s what he had to say about our wealth, careers, love, health – plus which zodiac signs will have the best and the worst luck this year.
What’s so special about the Year of the Ox?
The traditional Chinese calendar revolves around a 12-year cycle – each year represented by a different zodiac animal sign. Furthermore, every zodiac animal is associated with one of the five Chinese elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water.
This year, 2021, is the Year of the Metal Ox: The Ox is the second animal of the Chinese zodiac cycle, and despite its humble diet of grass, these strong and sturdy animals are capable of accomplishing incredible feats. Not only can oxen plough fields but they also provide useful materials like milk, leather and meat.
For this reason, the Ox traditionally symbolises diligence, courage, modesty and fortune. And people born during an Ox year – 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021 – are believed to be steady and hardworking. “An Ox never takes impulsive action,” says Cheang. “They achieve success step by step.”
While those may be desirable attributes for anyone born under this zodiac sign, an Ox year can also have its downsides. “The Ox year often arrives after several years of prosperity, so it is always the year of economic slowdown,” says Cheang, who points out that the effects of Covid-19 will continue to affect the momentum of 2021. “It is not a suitable year for making big, risky investments or career moves.”
What can we expect in the Year of the Ox?
Don’t quit your day job: With the economic downturn in full swing, career development may also be challenging in 2021. Cheang advises against job-hopping or quitting before you have something new lined up. If you’re feeling adventurous and crave different work opportunities, Cheang says to wait until 2022.
Keep an eye on your health: According to Cheang, it’s important to pay attention to our digestive and respiratory health in the Year of the Ox, as this year is associated with the water and metal elements. “Water represents the digestive system and metal represents the lungs,” says Cheang. “Therefore, a lot of people may have problems with their stomach and intestines; coughing and pneumonia may also be more common.”
Weddings on the backburner: This year of Ox is a ‘Blind Year’, which means the Lunar calendar doesn’t include a first day of spring (which usually falls in February). Traditionally, most people consider a blind year an inauspicious time to get married, says Cheang. If they are superstitious, couples may choose to postpone their weddings to 2022 – the Year of the Tiger – instead. Moreover, given the grim economic forecast, many people may not want to spend a lot of money hosting lavish wedding banquets.
Careful with investments: Based on the Five Elements Theory, there are three ‘waters’ but only one ‘fire’ in the 2021 Year of the Ox. When water is stronger than fire, it means that a lot of people will contemplate ways to make money, yet there isn’t enough money to go around. Therefore, it will be tough to make money this year and, if you make a significant investment, it could be risky.
Which zodiacs will be the luckiest this year?
Monkeys: Monkeys are the luckiest zodiac sign in an Ox year, says Cheang. Thanks to blessings of Emperor Star (a lucky star that boosts a person’s career, studies and finance), the Monkey has a good chance at success in pretty much every area of life – particularly if they try their best. When it comes to relationships, Monkeys are more likely to get married this year than other signs.
Roosters: The Rooster has suffered lousy luck over the past few years, especially in 2018. So this year, it’s time to bounce back! According to Cheang, roosters will be blessed with a steady, regular income, although they shouldn’t expect any windfalls. Gwai Yan (貴人 – benefactors who help some signs overcome challenges and achieve success) will also offer support to Roosters in their careers, while lovers may have a chance to tie the knot.
What are the unluckiest zodiac signs?
Ox: Known as Bun Ming Nin (本命年), one’s ‘Chinese Zodiac Birth Year’ is always an unlucky one because it’s believed to offend Tai Sui (an important guardian god for health, wealth, career and marriage). As such, people born under the Ox will have poor luck in 2021, encountering obstacles in everything they do.
Cheang says they can pacify Tai Sui by burning incense, offering sacrifices and worshipping the god [at shrines like Pao Kong Temple and Temple of Divinity of Medicine, I Leng Temple or Zhu Lin Temple], volunteering with a charity and wearing white clothes (a colour thought to boost luck) to improve their luck. Overall, Oxes should maintain a low profile, and move cautiously in their professional and financial affairs.
Goat: In the Year of the Ox, the Goat zodiac sign also clashes with Tai Sui. In general, Goats should be careful with all transactions involving properties or investment, as they may be at risk of being deceived. They also need to keep a close eye on their career and health outcomes. For younger Goats, schoolwork may feel more challenging than usual, and they may need to make an extra effort to keep up.