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Chinese Zodiac 2021: What's Niu This Chinese New Year?

Updated 09 Mar 2021 – By Ashley Ooi

2020 was a whirlwind year that nobody could’ve predicted. From the implementation of various monetary schemes and moratoriums by the government put into place to cushion the financial impact due to Covid-19, to the tabling of Budget 2021 by Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz featuring the biggest budget recorded in Malaysian history so far, worth RM322.5 billion.

If anything, we’re more than happy to bid hasta la vista, baby to 2020 and Happy Niu (New) Year 2021! Hopefully, this year will be much better lah, right? After all, if we survived in 2020, we can survive almost anything else. 

Previously, we covered the year of the rat and the year of the pig, and this year, it’s time for the Metal Ox to shine bright like a diamond. The ox is referred to as ‘niu’ (牛) in Mandarin, hence, if you see any ‘niu’ puns rolling around this Chinese Niu Year, you’ll know just why lah!


We know you can’t wait to know what’s in store for your zodiac in 2021, right?

Thanks to renowned Feng Shui consultant Joey Yap, here’s what’s in store for the year. Without further ado, dipersilakan!

First, let's see which Zodiac is the most ‘fatt’:

Image source: Joey Yap's Thriver's Guide 2021


1. Ox (1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009)

Image source: Joey Yap's Thriver's Guide 2021

Health: Work may leave you feeling exhausted, but remember that health is wealth and get enough sleep to avoid major health issues. If you’re getting on in age, pay close attention to the health of your stomach, kidneys, spleen, and urinary system. 

Wealth: When it comes to income, keep expectations low so you won’t feel disappointed. Avoid making hasty/impulsive decisions, high-risk investments, gambling, and lending money to others. 

Career: Don’t be worried about leaving your comfort zone and experiencing challenges as it’s a sign of growth. Avoid being calculative about effort and rewards, and focus on long-term returns instead. Follow the SOPs and don’t cut corners unless you want to pay the price! 

Relationships: Although you’ll be surrounded by loved ones, you might still feel lonely. Be careful with your emotions and who you accept into your life. For those who are married or in a relationship, you will need to work harder to nurture the relationship.

2. Tiger (1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010)

Image source: Joey Yap's Thriver's Guide 2021

Health: You may be considered frail and susceptible to health issues, so make sure to get enough sleep, exercise, and recharge yourself mentally. If not, these health issues will affect your career and performance at work.

Wealth: You’ll be recognized and enjoy a reputation that’ll rake in some good profits. Still, be sure to plan before you spend and be well-prepared to make small monetary adjustments throughout the year. Avoid big investments and any possible fraudulent schemes/investments.

Career: Great people will come your way to help you, and your working environment is a key factor for career success this year. A sizable task may land in your lap and your biggest contribution will be determined by how well your planning and execution goes. 

Relationships: Lady luck must be on your side because your charisma and likeability will increase tenfold! Overall, it’s a good year for romantic pursuits, expanding your circle, and being the centre of attention. Take note not to over-socialize though, because it may drain you. 

3. Rabbit (1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011)

Image source: Joey Yap's Thriver's Guide 2021

Health: Be vigilant of what you consume, especially if you’re allergic to certain food/medicine. Stay away from high-risk sports and activities to avoid unexpected physical injuries. With that, keep to your regular diet/exercise regime and avoid speed-diets as they’ll harm your health in the long run.

Wealth: Income and expenses-wise, it’s looking pretty unpredictable and shaky. Unless it’s an absolute necessity, avoid lending money to friends/family. Your source of income might face some risks, even more so if your superior is a petty person.

Career: The workplace can be busy with gossip and disputes, which may have you being misunderstood or misquoted at times. You might also see an increase in your role and contributions, including some distant travel for work, but persevere as it’ll be worth it in the end. 

Relationships: There aren’t many opportunities for love this year, so if you’re single, focus on yourself first before searching for Mr or Ms Right. If you’re in a relationship or married, arguments may crop up more frequently, hence, it’s time to use the skills of patience and communication.

4. Dragon (1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012)

Image source: Joey Yap's Thriver's Guide 2021

Health: An uneasy year that’ll lead to fluctuating moods, your health may be compromised too, especially related to the digestive system and skin. Keep a watchful eye out as the symptoms may not be pronounced, but early detection will save your skin (literally!)

Wealth: Nothing in the world is free, so make sure to repay any favours/debts. Financial loss may occur, but an alternative income will compensate for those losses. Avoid investing in things you don’t know much about, especially those based on hearsay/speculation.

Career: A flourishing career awaits, complete with excellent teamwork and collaborations. If you’re working in either interior design, architecture, or computer technology, you’ll thrive. All you need to do is to keep your eyes on the prize and leave out all the rest. New career opportunities may arise too!

Relationships: For the young ladies, it’s an especially auspicious year to find a partner (even among friends) but don’t be too impatient. Unfortunately, for existing couples, a higher chance of arguments and disagreements seem to be on the table.

5. Snake (1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013)

Image source: Joey Yap's Thriver's Guide 2021

Health: Your immune system might suffer setbacks causing you to fall sick easily. Pay close attention to your blood pressure and signs of blood-related illnesses; whenever possible, stay cool like a cucumber and avoid conflicts. Issues like insomnia or psychological problems may arise, hence, seek early diagnosis and good treatment ASAP. 

Wealth: Some money might be lost, but help will come a long way. Ironically, it’s a good year for long-term investments, so try your hand in investing in property, blue-chip stocks, diamonds, or even precious metals.

Career: Anticipate recognition and recommendations from your superiors, but be very wary of backstabbers. Fortunately, you’ll have people you can count on to help you out. There are plenty of opportunities for independent learning as well, especially when it comes to documentation.

Relationships: If you’re in a relationship, uneasiness and suspicion may happen even more than usual, leading to frequent arguments. External parties may also threaten your relationship. All in all, stay focused on being a better partner and being less controlling.

6. Horse (1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014)

Image source: Joey Yap's Thriver's Guide 2021

Health: Hold your horses and mellow down as minor illnesses and accidents may occur, especially those gynaecological-related. Emotionally, it may feel like a rollercoaster ride, but one way to keep safe is by cutting back on those lepak sessions and midnight shenanigans. 

Wealth: Improve luck and opportunities by sharpening your interpersonal relationships and communication skills. Meaningful debt is better, so don’t overspend and land yourself in bad debt! Take the opportunity to begin learning investment-related skills and technical analysis, starting with low-risk investments.

Career: As new ideas are spawn, there’s a high potential for these ideas to really stick and start moving. Don’t be afraid of putting in extra effort at work as it won’t go unnoticed. However, be mindful not to rush and communicate with your colleagues clearly and nicely. 

Relationships: Married couples will have prosperous family luck, highly likely in the form of a bundle of joy! At the same time, avoid taking things for granted and risking what you have now; avoid casual relationships, short-lived passion, and ruining long-term relationships.

7. Goat (1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015)

Image source: Joey Yap's Thriver's Guide 2021

Health: Be on the lookout for these: problems related to the digestive system, liver, skin, plus uncontrollable eating habits and hygiene. Pay extra caution to traffic safety and using heavy metal tools. If ground-breaking is happening closeby, avoid it as it could affect your emotions. 

Wealth: Income-wise, there’s not much growth, especially for business owners. Use this opportunity to polish/pick up financial management skills, and pay close attention when handling documents because of the risk of financial loss. Say NO to being a guarantor and gambling/investing in high-risk financial products. 

Career: An increased workload will drain you, so career advancements will need to take a backseat. The year will be steady but slow, making it difficult to maintain achievements in 2020. Regardless, equip yourself with the knowhow to manage stress effectively and return energetically.

Relationships: Monumental change is coming and if mishandled, may lead to a breakup or divorce. It’s time to put on your listening ears and listen first, speak last. Practice restraint and keep yourself from falling for someone so easily, as there’s more to them than meets the eye. 

8. Monkey (1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016)

Image source: Joey Yap's Thriver's Guide 2021

Health: Overall health is in good hands, but work busyness might throw your work-life balance off and lead to gastrointestinal problems. Avoid monkeying around by using sharp objects with care, don’t drink and drive, and steer clear of high-risk accident-prone activities.

Wealth: Work hard and you’ll be rewarded handsomely. Consumption power is expected to be low, so think twice before any business expansion plans. Avoid speculated investments and flaunting your wealth — keep a low profile and keep valuables in a safe place.

Career: With the support of your superiors, you’ll be able to showcase your strengths and all you’ve learned, so continue working hard for new opportunities to blossom. If challenges arise, deal with them calmly and others will help. Avoid switching careers until the following year. Business-owners should be more conservative and not feel complacent so easily to avoid failures just when success is within reach.

Relationships: Married couples will be able to enjoy a better relationship. You may appear particularly attractive to others, but don’t let them distract you from your spouse. For the bachelors and bachelorettes, pay close attention to the people around you. 

9. Rooster (1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017)

Image source: Joey Yap's Thriver's Guide 2021

Health: Watch your mental and emotional health as you’ll be especially prone to mood swings. If you feel discomfort, don’t take it lightly and see a doctor immediately. Be safe on the road, be it in a vehicle or as a pedestrian, and obey the traffic rules.

Wealth: Hard work is needed to reap the benefits, and this applies especially for public servants. It might not be opportune to expand businesses this year. Instead, save the money and wait for the right time and place. For investors, it’s promising but be aware of what you’re getting into and don’t be too greedy.

Career: Superiors/seniors will be open to helping you out. If you don’t mind working harder than others, you’ll definitely be appreciated for it. Avoid sudden changes and stay where you are, so take the time to reflect on your capabilities and learn to be independent. For commission-based jobs, seize opportunities when possible to win the admiration of others.

Relationships: Lavish your partner with plenty of TLC to keep the relationship lasting. Married couples will need extra communication to prevent misunderstandings, especially when it comes to mutual trust and respect. It can be a thorny path to walk on to be happy but keep believing and take things slow.

10. Dog (1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018)

Image source: Joey Yap's Thriver's Guide 2021

Health: You may feel upset and depressed easily, but that means it’s time to relax and remember that! Try not to let yourself be troubled by the difficulties of life or work, and look after your diet and liver well. 

Wealth: A salary adjustment might happen, but not at a level satisfactory enough for you. In business dealings, be wary of money traps and when signing financial documents. Be proactive and learn to plan your finances, buy property, and maintain the value of your wealth.

Career: No matter the career, there’s growth all around. If you’re accepting a new job, try your hardest to fulfil all your responsibilities as it’ll pay off. Office politics may occur and if it does, observe, listen, and do more, but speak less and be kind to everyone.

Relationships: For women, disputes may arise between you and your partner, as well as the prospect of an LDR. If your thoughts are overwhelming, seek refuge in the company of your friends. For the single-and-still-available crowd, take initiative and put in some effort to meet someone right for you.

11. Boar (1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019)

Image source: Joey Yap's Thriver's Guide 2021

Health: If you need to travel, be careful as accidents may occur. Emotional turbulence will happen, so it’s important to learn how to comfort yourself and relieve stress whenever needed. If you feel unwell, seek medical assistance immediately.

Wealth: Activate your wealth luck by moving around and collaborating with overseas businesses for added opportunities! Before investing, research carefully and don’t take uncertain risks. You might think that something expensive is better than the cheaper alternative but think again as it could save you from a money trap.

Career: Obstacles at work may pop up, but working harder doesn’t mean better rewards. Focus on your main responsibilities and don’t overestimate what you can handle. For business owners, don’t bite off more than you can chew and stay away from convenient shortcuts to avoid legal trouble.

Relationships: Don’t shy away from your problems and face them head-on, and be honest with your partner to foster a happy relationship. Exercise more tolerance and understanding, and avoid kicking up a big fuss about nothing. If you’re still single, those lepak sessions with your friends might help you but don’t rush into a decision.

12. Rat (1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020)

Image source: Joey Yap's Thriver's Guide 2021

Health: Everything’s looking good this year, although work stress may result in some minor health issues. To keep your health in good shape, avoid funerals, slaughterhouses, cemeteries, and other places with strong Yin energy.

Wealth: Creating works of art or literature may bring in good and new income for you. Income-wise, it’s looking pretty good but unexpected expenses may suddenly appear, so be well-prepared for it. Avoid high-risk investments and gambling. 

Career: You’ll be entering a new phase in the change of your nature of work, leading to a more technical/specialized field. These new challenges will require a new set of skills, but you can count on mentorships and good relationships with your superiors or colleagues to survive. Academic pursuits will improve exponentially as well, especially for full-time students.

Relationships: Minor disagreements may happen, but don’t fret as it’s better for the long run. Your popularity will rise among your friends which will lead to more exciting adventures together! For the singles, pay more attention to those you hold near and dear, whereas, for those in a relationship, it’s a good year to hear wedding bells. 


BONUS: Auspicious Dates For January - March 2021

If you’re gonna usher in some ong to allow plenty of huat throughout the year, you might want to do so on these auspicious dates! 
Type of Activity Dates
  •  6 January, 18 January
  •  3 February, 15 February, 27 February
  • 16 March
Marriage and weddings
  • 8 January, 18-19 January, 28-29 January, 31 January
  • 1 February, 8 February, 10-12 February, 20-22 February
  • 4 March, 18-19 March, 28-30 March
Moving in/beginning new businesses
  • 13 January, 25 January
  • 7 February, 19 February
  • 3 March, 16 March, 28 March
  • 16 January, 28 January
  • 10 February, 22 February
  • 10 March, 22 March

We hope this zodiac 101 guide for the Year of the Metal Ox will prepare you, your families, and your loved ones for 2021! Share it with your ah yee, ku cheong, yeh yeh, kai ma, biao jie, etc. and have a prosperous New Year. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

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