2009-01-31 — Good Characters (Leave a message)
“Dear Good Characters,
Could you please send me calligraphy for Year of the OX?
Thank you. –Robert Turgeon”
Yes. The Year of the Ox starts January 26, 2009. A good phrase to write in Chinese calligraphy is 牛年大吉 (niu nian da ji), meaning Best Wishes for the Year of Ox!
牛 (niu) is cattle.
年 (nian) is a year.
大 (da) is big or great.
吉 (ji) is auspicious.
Chinese living in the south use water buffalo to work in the rice fields. Therefore, for southern Chinese, the cow is traditionally viewed as hardworking and the most loyal animal, similarly to the way people in the West view their dogs or horses. For this reason, some Chinese don’t eat beef. Imagine eating a dog—that’s the same emotion they would have about eating beef.
In Taiwan, becoming vegetarian or abstaining from beef is often believed to be a way to reduce one’s sin or to receive blessings from the gods. Interestingly, Taiwan is famous for its tasty beef noodle soup, and the city of Taipei calls itself the “World Capital of Beef Noodles.” Taipei hosts a couple annual Beef Noodles Festivals.
Happy Year of the Ox!
Comment from Robert Turgeon
Time: January 13, 2009, 5:11 pm
Dear Good Characters,
Thank you for your quick response to my question re:
Year Of The Ox.
Robert T. (Lu Bo Tu Quan)