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Monday rings in Year of the Ox

Date Posted: 2009-01-23

By the lunar calendar, the New Year begins on Monday, a day the Chinese calendar’s Year of the Ox starts.

The Year of the Ox is the second in the 12-year Chinese zodiac, replacing the Rat as the astrological symbol. Still to come, in order, are the tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, cock, dog and boar. By astrological definition, life in this coming Year of the Ox will make life easier and keep evil spirits at bay. It’s a belief Okinawans accept, as well as Japanese, Chinese and other Asian countries.

Japan’s very own ox, born in Nagoya in 2007, has been making the rounds the past two years, visiting throughout Japan. The ox was at Okinawa Zoo last year. The 19-month-old ox was born at a Nagoya University facility. It’s the same type ox used to pull carriages in the ancient Heian period. The ox has no mixed genes with Western European animals, and is a pure Japanese ox. “He’s very calm and a small ox,” says Shinobu Namisato, adding “it’s very unusual to see an ox or cow that is pure Japanese.

By the official Japanese calendar, 2009 is the year Heisei 21, based upon the reign of the current emperor. Heisei began January 8th 1989, taking over from the Showa era that began in 1926. Japanese Emperor, his Imperial Majesty Akahito, is the country’s 125th Emperor.

The Ox symbolizes prosperity through hard work, and is the powerful sign of a born leader…one capable of achieving great things. Those born in the Year of the Ox are said to be extremely patient and diligent in their work, and capable of enduring hardships without complaint, just like the Ox. They are frugal, careful about taking risks, and are truthful, dedicated and sincere. At the same time, those born in an Ox year are comfortable, sociable and relaxed when secure, but worry when trouble strikes.

People born under the Ox’s influence are logical, kind and maintain a positive attitude. They’re quiet and systematic in all activities, talking little. Still, when talk is needed, Ox people are intelligent, articulate and eloquent. Oxen are most compatible with the Rat, Snake and Rooster. Johann Sebastian Bach, Napoleon Bonaparte, George Clooney, Walt Disney, Anton Dvorak, Clark Gable, Vincent Van Gogh and Richard Nixon are among those born in the Year of the Ox.

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