Many thanks to my friend Greg Drevenstedt at Valmont Research for this info:

“The Chinese zodiac is based on a 12-year cycle, with each year represented by an animal. Each animal has a different personality and a different set of characteristics. The animal associated with a person’s birthyear is believed to influence their traits, success, and happiness in their lifetime.

2009 is the Year of the Ox. According to Wikipedia, characteristics of those born in Ox years (2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961, 1949, 1937, 1925, 1913, 1901) may include: Dependable, calm, methodical, patient, hardworking, ambitious, conventional, steady, modest, logical, resolute, and tenacious.”

We would all do well to practice these characteristics as we welcome the New Year. Health, happiness and prosperity to all!