哞 Mōu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

牛年快乐 Niúnián Kuàilè

Happy Year of the Ox! (2009)

How now brown cow: January 26, 2009 began 牛年 niúnián, year of the ox (or cow or bull). (The previous year was rat; the next, tiger.)

牛年 is the second year in the 12-year cycle. It corresponds to 丑 chǒu, the second of the 12 地支 dìzhī earthly branches (子丑寅卯辰巳午未申酉戌亥).

In the 60-year cycle, 2009 is 己丑 jǐchǒu, the 26th year. (The cycle including 2009 started in 1984, 甲子 jiǎzǐ.) 己 jǐ is the sixth of the 10 天干 tiāngān heavenly stems (甲乙丙丁戊己庚辛壬癸), and is associated with earth (土 tǔ). Therefore 2009 can be called the year of the earth ox.

The Chinese word 牛 niú (ox/cow/bull) is gender-neutral. (Compare 母牛 mǔniú cow and 公牛 gōngniú bull.) The 1913 Webster Unabridged Dictionary defines ox as follows: "The male of bovine quadrupeds, especially the domestic animal when castrated and grown to its full size, or nearly so. The word is also applied, as a general name, to any species of bovine animals, male and female."

Other years of the ox include: 2021, 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961, 1949, 1937, 1925, 1913, 1901.

See the whole 12-year cycle!