The ox is one of the 12 horoscope animals in the Chinese zodiac, Sheng Xiao. According to an ancient legend, when the Jade Emperor – one of the mythological Gods of the Celestial Empire – held a great race across a river between animals, the ox was almost the first to reach the emperor, but was fooled by a cat and a rat, which rode on its back over the river and then left him behind.
Ultimately, the rat pushed the cat down into the river and reached the emperor first and left the cat out of the zodiac. It seems like cats have held a grudge against rats ever since.
And now, after the year of the rat, 2021 – the year of ox – has finally arrived, bringing new hope and great expectations.
But what significance does the ox have in cultures around the world? Check out Sputnik's gallery to learn more.