THE Chinese have a unique way of representing the lunar new year through animals.
We use a dozen different animals to represent each year of a 12-year cycle.
The order remains the same, with the rat beginning the cycle and the pig ending it.
The Chinese have given interesting characteristics to these various animals and to the people who are born under their sign.
This time, the Year of the Ox begins on January 26. People born in the Year of the Ox are thought to be patient, to speak little, and to inspire confidence in others.
They tend, however, to be eccentric, and bigoted and they anger easily.
Supposedly, ox people have fierce tempers and, although they speak little, when they do speak they are quite eloquent.
They are also mentally and physically alert.
Generally easy-going, they can be remarkably stubborn, and they hate to fail or to be opposed.
If a person has the temper of an ox, no one can make him change his mind once he makes a decision, whether he is right or wrong.
The word bullheaded in English has a similar meaning when referring to such a person.
Interestingly, these traits can be spotted on famous people born in the Year of the Ox, like the French emperor Napoleon and the English comedic actor Charlie Chaplin.
In China, some famous figures like Liu Bei and Fan Zhongyan, and the great poet Li Bai were all ox men.
If you type the words bull and china on a search engine on the Internet,
you will find the interesting idiom "like a bull in a china shop", which is used to refer to someone behaving in a clumsy manner instead of being careful.
As the Chinese New Year approaches, Teens hopes that all our readers work as hard as this year's animal often does — or at least as it is traditionally believed to.
And we hope that you don't run into something that makes you angry, that would be like waving a red flag in front of a bull.
We also hope that the success you say you achieve this year is not, well, just some cock and bull story.