Year of the Ox – 2009

Chinese New Year – Year of the Ox begins Jan. 26th, 2009ox zodiak

In the Chinese calendar, it will soon be the year 4707. The Chinese (Lunar, based on moon cycles) New Year of 2009, begins January 26th, the date based on a luni-solar calendar (as opposed to Gregorian). When the Buddha invited all animals to meet him on Chinese New Year, only twelve responded. In gratitude and honor, the Buddha then named a year after each animal that sat quietly with him.

2009 is the Chinese Year of the Earth Ox or in Vietnam, the water buffalo. The Ox conveys prosperity, the result of Ox’s qualities of fortitude and hard work. A stable, fearless, friendly yet powerful sign, Ox is a dependable leader able to reach great heights of achievement. The Ox is calm, patient, tireless, enduring difficulties without complaint (they sound like Taurus and Capricorns). Peace and quiet are needed by Ox people so they can ponder deeply and internally upon ideas. When a decision is reached their minds are not changed. They have great logic and systemized thinking and display vast, though hidden to some, intelligence. Careful with speech, they are quite eloquent when communication is necessary.

Ox are kind and caring, filled with common sense and quite grounded. A lifetime preoccupation is security allows them to work hard and long providing a stable home (nest, village, community) for family. They are strong minded and individualistic, methodical and reflective, helpful and self-sacrificing. They are not extravagant or risk-takers. Truthful and sincere, they dislike competition, seeking instead honesty, ethics and tradition. When they feel trust and security with others the Ox relaxes, becomes sociable, humorous (dry) and playful. They are slow to anger. On the other side of these beneficent characteristics, the Ox, when pushed can become inflexible, dogmatic, stubborn, critical and intolerant.

Lantern Festival

There are fifteen days of celebration in the Chinese New Year, each day set aside for different foods and rituals. The Chinese New Year officially begins when the Full Moon is seen in the sky, fifteen days after the first day of the New Year celebrations. This is celebrated with Dragon dances and the Chinese (Full Moon) Lantern Festival (originating from Han Dynasty, 206 BC – 221 AD).

In traditional Chinese Lantern Festivals there are puzzles to be solved on the lanterns while eating sweet rice balls (yuan xiao). Lantern Festivals are also associated with the god of Taoism, whose birthday falls on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month. His name is Tianguan and he bestows prosperity and good fortune, especially if he is well entertained. Lanterns symbolized hope and good luck. The Lantern Festival, considered a joyful affair with family and friends, is also a festival of high art and culture. It’s time to prepare for a Lantern Festival party.

Are you an Ox?   Check it out here

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