All you need to know about the ox in the Chinese horoscope

ethnic china

All you need to know about the ox in the Chinese horoscope

The ox is a very beloved animal among the Chinese, despite its size, it is tame and peaceful, often in the villages, it is the youngest children who take it to the field to play, it rarely acquires the fierce role of the Mediterranean bull, although, among some villages in the South, bullfights are held.

His contribution to human welfare is always considered, working the fields, pulling carts, or simply, in his more poetic image, carrying a Taoist sage on his back. His value is great, and when he was sacrificed to the gods it was a great effort for the community. It is treated with affection.

The ox among the minorities

Among the minorities its value is particularly appreciated, for it is not only indispensable for rice farming but also constitutes a reserve of meat and protein, always at hand, to be used in times of crisis. Its value grows to the point of equaling that of people, even replacing them, and we will see that it is exchanged for slaves, for women, as a wedding dowry, or for people in general, in sacrifices to the gods. Whenever there is a wedding or funeral, they are sacrificed, since they are considered equal to men, and possibly they are the substitutes for the human sacrifices practiced in the past by some peoples.

We see the ox then as a key piece in the symbolic universe and in the economic life of many peoples. Among the Li of Hainan in each house there is a precious stone that they call «soul of the ox». Among them, those whose surname is Fu consider themselves «Sons of the ox» and venerate this animal as their protector god.

In the agricultural aspect, in numerous myths the contributions of the ox to agriculture are not only limited to plowing the fields, but they are credited with having donated the seeds of cereals to mankind. This is why numerous festivals are held in their honor.

Feast of the Ox

Many villages celebrate the Ox Festival on April 8.

The Li people of Hainan call it Ox Festival. On this day, oxen may neither be killed nor worked, and they are given to drink liquor filtered through the «ox soul» stone. This protects the ox and guarantees the future harvest.
The Buyi call it the Feast of Initiating the Plantation. It symbolizes love and gratitude to the oxen for plowing the land. Glutinous rice is offered to the king of the oxen. The oxen are bathed and rest on this day.
The Mulao call it the Birthday of the Ox. They worship the God of Oxen Corrals, let the oxen rest, and feed them glutinous rice.
The Zhuang celebrate it a month later, on April 8, they call it Ox Soul Festival. It is the anniversary of the date when the Ox King comes down to earth to protect the oxen from diseases. For the Zhuang, the oxen are not only an indispensable animal for their agriculture, but they came down from heaven bringing the people the grains to be cultivated. On that day the ox does not work. He is fed glutinous rice and the children take him to play in the river. Between pampering, they bring him back to the stables.
The Lisu celebrate it on lunar June 5. They call it the Feast of Washing the Oxen. It is a feast to ask for a good harvest, they wash the oxen in gratitude since according to their legends the oxen lived in the sky, but when they saw that the man was hungry they gave him the cereals. The angry god expelled them to the earth.
June 6 is among the Dong people of Southern Guizhou, who call it the Feast of Washing the Oxen.
The Nama value the ox so much that they consider it an intermediary between men and the god of heaven. That is why they perform a ritual sacrifice for the ox to go up to heaven to bring their requests to the god. Prevent disasters, protect the village, bring peace and prosperity.

Perhaps the situation that best illustrates the enormous value of the ox, which comes to replace people, is among the Wa, who used to hunt heads to offer to their gods, and since they stopped doing so in the 50s of the twentieth century, they replace them with cows. Something similar we see among the Hani, where the heroine Amatu, manages to deceive the demon who demands every year that human victims be delivered to him, singing that cow meat is much better than that of a person. Since then cows are sacrificed instead of people and she has become the Goddess of the Village.

Among the Achang, when a person is sick, it is because of these spirits. So a priest is called to perform the ritual exchange of the soul of the sick person for the soul of the cow that is sacrificed. Among the Li the ceremony is called Inviting the Spirits to Eat Cow. In which the priest calls each of the ancestors by name, asking them to eat the meat and free the sick person from pain. The Nusu do something similar.

Among the Yao of Baluo when someone over five years old falls ill, the ceremony of cutting the cow and beating the drums is celebrated. That has as its climax the ritual sacrifice of a cow. When a person dies, the cow-cutting ceremony will also be performed at the funeral.

The Chashan give a cow as a dowry. The Dulong exchanged slaves (orphans or people separated from society) with the Tibetans in exchange for cows. Their food was based on a palm tree that grows on their land. A sacred tree for them as it has been vital for their survival. In fact, a slightly large tree can be exchanged for a cow.

In addition, almost in each of the main festivals of the ethnic minorities we see the sacrifice of a cow as a highlight. In the Munao festival of the Jingpo, who on occasion have sacrificed more than 20 cows, the Kuzhazha festival of the Hani, the Tebikai festival or Jino New Year, and any other important festival.

Since in China we follow the lunar calendar, and in the West the solar calendar, the beginning and end of each year do not coincide exactly. Therefore, before knowing what the Chinese horoscope says about your sign, make sure that you were indeed born under the sign of the Ox, as are the people born on the dates included in the table on the left.

19-2-1901 to 27-2-1902 Metal
6-2-1913 to 25-1-1914 Water
24-1-1925 to 12-2-1926 Wood
11-2-1937 to 30-1-1938 Fire
29-1-1949 to 16-2-1950 Earth
15-1-1961 to 4-2-1962 Metal
3-2-1-1973 to 22-1-1974 Water
20-2-1985 to 8-2-1986 Wood
7-2-1997 to 27-1-1998 Fire
26-1-2009 to 13-10-2010 Earth
12-2-2021 to 31-1-2022 Metal

To complete your cosmic profile it is necessary to know the influence of the Five Elements on your life. Check in the table above the element to which you belong. The hour of birth also has a great influence on the character of the person. It is generally considered that those born during the chou hour (from 1 to 3 am) acquire some qualities of the ox, and tend to be slower and calmer than those born at other times.

People born under this sign are considered to be calm and patient. Systematic in their actions, they are benevolent towards others. Stubborn, very responsible, it is sometimes difficult for them to recognize their own mistakes, since they feel great self-esteem, and a deep appreciation for the rules and social conventions. Sincere, tenacious, orderly, sometimes too much, they find it difficult to understand people who are different, which is sometimes a handicap when it comes to fairly assess situations and people.

They live in harmony with: Rooster, Rat, Snake.
Frequent conflicts arise with: Dog, Sheep and Tiger.

To cite this post: Ceinos-Arcones, Pedro, "All you need to know about the ox in the Chinese horoscope," in Ethnic China, 17 marzo 2021, https://ethnic-china.com/all-you-need-to-know-about-the-ox-in-the-chinese-horoscope/.

If you are interested in animal symbolism, you will surely be interested in what I tell in my books.

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