The Year of the Ox: What Does the Chinese Zodiac Predict for 2021?

We need any excuse we can find to relax and have fun after the last year. Christmas and New Year have been and gone, but don’t worry because this Thursday and Friday we can celebrate again! Thursday (11th February 2021) is New Year’s Eve in the Chinese calendar (and obviously Friday’s New Year’s Day).

Gamblers tend to be a superstitious bunch, so we thought we’d take a break from gambling news for once and delve into the fortunes of the Chinese zodiac whilst giving you the perfect excuse for extended celebrations.

Up for a 16-day party?

Yep, that’s right. The Chinese New Year celebrations last for 16 days! The celebration ends with the Lantern Festival on the 26th of February.

This extra-long holiday is more of a traditional Chinese party. Nowadays the standard holiday period for mainland China is a week, (this year) from the 11th to the 17th of February.

What is the Chinese Zodiac?

It’s got a cool name, “zodiac”, but what is it?  The Chinese zodiac is a system that designates each year with an animal. The idea is that different years will have different ‘animal spirits’ and unfold in specific ways according to the attributes of the particular animal for that year.

The Chinese Zodiac uses 12 animals. They are:

      1. Rat
      2. Ox
      3. Tiger
      4. Rabbit
      5. Dragon
      6. Snake
      7. Horse
      8. Goat
      9. Monkey
      10. Rooster
      11. Dog
      12. Pig


And they cycle every 12-years, e.g. if 2020 was the year of the rat, 2032 will be the next year of the rat.

The Chinese believe that the year will reflect the attributes of the animal. E.g., 2020 was the year of the rat, and it represents new beginnings – a great reset, maybe? It’s also said to represent duplicitousness. Legend goes that all the animals of the zodiac had a race and the ox got to the finish first, but then the rat jumped on his back and hopped to the front, winning the race in a somewhat questionable way. An interesting way to sum up 2020.

But what will the future bring for 2021 according to the Chinese zodiac?

The Year of the Ox

2021 is the year of the ox. If you want to emulate the traditional Chinese tradition, you need to say the following when you meet someone, “祝你牛年吉祥“.  Easy, right? You just need to pronounce it properly.

What do the Chinese say about the Year of the Ox?

The ox is the 2nd animal in the cycle. It should have come first but for that pesky rat.

Good news, though. The ox is a great year. It’s a year of hard work, but also positivity and honesty (no more fake news? Fingers crossed). Oxen are loyal, kind, trustworthy and grounded. It’s also considered strong and has associations with good harvests and fertility.

The ox is friendly and works to help us.

And interestingly, in Japanese traditions, rubbing cows is good luck and is supposed to ward off the spread of disease! Ok, so an ox and a cow are different animals, but not that different. And some Japanese people rub statues of cows at the start of the Chinese new year! So, maybe the year of the ox will be the year we ward off disease?

All-in-all it sounds like it’s going to be a great year!

A cartoon picture of an Ox from the Chinese zodiac. It has some Chinese writing and in English says "welcoming the lunar new year, wishing you love, prosperity and good fortune