The year of the Ox is finally coming on February 12th 2021!
Today we will learn more about the new lunar year of the Ox, what Chinese people predict the year will turn out like and also some new year greetings that you can use to impress your friends, family and relatives!
Year of the Ox
On February 12th 2021. we will be entering into the new lunar year of the Ox (牛 niú). If you are not sure what a new lunar year or new Chinese new year is, read our 'What is Chinese New Year?' post to learn more. In short, there are 12 zodiac animals, each with a specific year that they belong to. The sequence is the same and therefore the same cycle repeats itself every 12 years. (牛 niú) can also mean 'cow' and in Chinese slang, it means 'awesome'. So are we in for an awesome 2021?
Chinese people consider the ox to be a stable, persevering and enduring animal. So unlike the fast paced and volatile rat year of 2020, the new year of the ox is believed to instill a slower pace of hard work and endurance for everyone. However, it is traditionally believed that if it is the birth year of your zodiac animal, known in Chinese as 本命年 (běn mìng nián), you will face new hardships and challenges. Therefore, if you are born in any of these years: 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, you belong to the year of the ox and should expect to face new challenges this year.
2021 Ox Year Greetings
Here are some new year greetings that you can use to wish your Chinese friends, relatives, or family a Happy New Ox Year. We will go through some impressive sounding ones which play on the word 'ox' (牛 niú).
Before we look into this, you may notice that Chinese people cup their hands together and shake them while saying these greetings. This is known as the 'fist and palm' salute and was used in ancient times to show a stranger that one was harmless and carrying no weapons. Nowadays, it is used to show respect at certain occasions such as the new lunar year. Watch the video below where Teacher Lin teaches you how to do this! (Pay close attention to the difference in the fist and palm salute for a male and female).
Let’s start with the special greetings here and then we can go over simpler ones if you want to keep it short.
Pinyin: Zhù nǐ yī nián bǐ yī nián niú, niúqi chōngtiān, niúniú niú!
English translation: Wishing you a more awesome year upon year, filled with maximum awesome energy, awesome, awesome, awesome!
Note: Do you remember that 牛 is slang for awesome? It is therefore a very fitting word play for new year greetings!
Chinese: 祝你财源滚滚, 发得像壮牛！好运连连，多得像牛毛！
Pinyin: Zhù nǐ cáiyuán gǔngǔn, fā de xiàng zhuàng niú! Hǎo yùn liánlián, duō de xiàng niúmáo!)
English translation: Wish you lots of wealth rolling with stability like a sturdy ox. Continuous luck like the endless strands of hair on an ox.
Chinese: 祝你牛年进牛市, 买牛股,挣牛钱!
Pinyin: Zhù nǐ niú nián jìn niúshì, mǎi niú gǔ, zhèng niú qián!
English translation: Hope you enter a bullish market, buy awesome stocks and make awesome money.
As you can see there is a theme to these sayings. They are mostly related to making money and Chinese people just like amassing wealth! So use these greetings to impress your friends or you can just stick to the simpler greetings of:
Pinyin: Xīnnián kuàilè!
English translation: Happy new year!
Pinyin: niú nián kuàilè!
English translation: Happy Ox Year!
That’s it for today where we looked at the significance of the year of the Ox, what the year may hold for us and some greetings that you can use to welcome your family, friends, and relatives!