Random Talk on Ox in the Year of Ox
In the Chinese lunar calendar, the Spring Festival falls on January 26th, 2009 this year. From this day on, the Yi-Chou Year begins, and it is also called the Year of Ox. The previous year is the Year of Rat, to which people have a controversial feeling: on the one hand, they feel the rat annoying and want to eliminate them all; on the other hand, they adore and love it to a certain degree and want to use its power. However, as to the ox, they express almost the same affection and appreciation.
In the twelve animals, the ox is the largest in size, in sharp contrast to the rat. The rat is used as a metaphor for "small" or "few" while the ox for "large" or "quite a few". The ox is praised for being diligent, perseverant and hardworking.
Apart from the above, the ox has been used on ceremonial occasions such as the ritual of offering sacrifice, feasts, weddings and funerals. In the mind of the folks, only the ox can assume the responsibility of enhancing family ties, eliminating disasters and seeking for blessings.
The Chinese is a nation ready to repay other's favor; the ox has been playing an important part in their production, daily life and social rite system. Therefore the Chinese people have created the image of the ox as helpful, grateful, righteous and touching.
(Ox sculptures in the cities at home and abroad)
The year 2009 witnesses many challenges around the globe. In the Year of Ox, the Chinese wish to borrow the power from the ox, overcome every difficulty and achieve the national prosperity and personal safety. This year, they are ready to fight for a stable life with confidence and competence.
Ox in other cultural relics:
Jadeite crouching ox
Ox-headed agate cup inlaid with gold