Chinese Horoscope - Year of the Ox
Date of issue: 29.01.2021
Author: Maja Tomažič
Motive: Year of the Ox
Printed by: Agencija za komercijalnu djelatnost d.o.o., Zagreb, Croatia
Printing Process and Layout: 4-colour offset in sheets of 25 stamps
Paper: Tullis Russell Chancellor Litho PVA RMS GUM, 102 g/m2
Size: 42.60 x 29.82 mm
Perforation: Comb 14 : 14
Year of the Ox
The Ox is the second animal in the Chinese zodiac and the biggest and strongest of the twelve. People born under the sign of the Ox are industrious, enterprising, honest, pragmatic and patient. They have a strong sense of responsibility and justice but can also be stubborn and inflexible. In Chinese culture, the symbolism surrounding this animal has many layers, while the wide range of associations can also be explained by the fact that the Chinese expression niu does not only mean ox but also buffalo, bull, cow, calf and yak – in short bovine creatures in the broadest sense.
Specific symbolic meanings are linked to the traditional role of oxen in farming. Strong animals with a docile temperament were needed to pull ploughs and carts. As a result, the Chinese expression old ox means a hard worker; a tall, well-formed man is said to be tall as an ox and big as a horse; if small actions allow us to recognise great potential in someone, we say that they have drawn the ox knife.
On the other hand we describe a person whose beliefs pull them in only one direction as being stubborn as an ox. We compare people with rugged features and coarse speech to bulls, while an old poem describes ignorant people as blind cows. The Chinese saying play the lute for a cow is the equivalent of our saying “cast pearls before swine”.
Other sayings shed light on the gentler side of these animals, for example an old cow licks her calf, which symbolises sensitivity and deep affection. Globalisation has given bovine creatures more new meanings, and even in Chinese the term bull market is used to describe a rising trend on the stock exchange.