What is Lunar New Year?
Commonly known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, the Lunar New Year is the most important date in the calendar for many Asian countries, including China, Korea, and Vietnam. The holiday, as its name suggests, is based around the lunar calendar, and so falls on a different date each year, usually between 20th January and 21st February. This year, New Year’s Eve was Monday 4th February. The official holiday is celebrated with many different festivals and traditions over the course of 15 days, ending with the Lantern Festival on the 15th night.
During these celebrations, people all over Asia travel back to their hometowns and pay visits to their relatives, and pay their respects to their ancestors. Families enjoy huge feasts, and children and single adults are presented with hong bao, or red packets, filled with money. Red and gold are colours of luck and prosperity, and so homes are decorated in these colours throughout the celebrations.
The Chinese Zodiac
Similar to the Western Zodiac, the Chinese Zodiac is made up 12 different signs. The twelve signs of the Chinese Zodiac are all animals; the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
Though there are 12 animals, one for each year, the Chinese Zodiac actually moves in a sixty-year cycle. As well as the animals, there are also twelve Earthly Branches, and ten Celestial Stems, which pair with the Earthly Branches. Each Zodiac sign also has an element; fire, water, metal, earth, and wood. All of these different combinations form a cycle of sixty years.
There are many different stories and accounts about how the order of the animals came about. However, the most popular one is the story of The Great Race. It is said that the Jade Emperor, the ‘ruler of the heavens’ was looking for a way to measure time. He decided to hold a race, and proclaimed that the first twelve animals to cross the river and make it over the finish line would earn a spot on the Zodiac calendar, in the order that they arrived.
The ox was believed to be the winner, until the sly rat, who had been secretly riding on his back, jumped onto the bank and raced ahead to win the first spot. The ox came second, followed by the tiger, rabbit, and so on. The lazy pig was said to stop many times to eat and sleep, and so he was the last to arrive. The pig is the 12th and last animal in the Zodiac calendar.
The Year of the Pig
2019 is the Year of the Pig. Again similar to Western Astrology, the Chinese believe that the year you were born can provide a lot of information about your personality and the kinds of situations you will come across in your life, and how you will likely handle them.
You may think that if it is ‘your year’, that it is good luck. However, it’s actually the opposite. Your year is seen as a challenge that you need to face and overcome. To help you avoid bad fortune, it’s a tradition to wear red underwear all year, as this is a colour of luck and good fortune.
Previous years of the Pig in recent history include 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, and 2007. The next year of the Pig will be 2031.
It may seem obvious, but the Pig isn’t considered the most intelligent of animals in China, or anywhere else in the world. The pig’s main priorities are sleeping and eating, and they are seen as lazy. However, their size is often seen as a positive thing; their chubbiness is a sign of wealth and prosperity.
Those born in the year of the Pig will likely share a lot of personality traits with their zodiac animal. Though often considered lazy, Pigs are very focused and diligent. They are extremely generous and will always be there to help out those in need. They are very logical and pragmatic thinkers, and can easily get themselves out of a bind.
Year of the Pig Statistics
Strengths: Kind, warm-hearted, generous, logical, loyal, gentle
Weaknesses: Naive, lazy, gullible, quick-tempered
Lucky Numbers: 2, 5, 8
Unlucky Numbers: 1, 3, 9
Lucky Colours: gold, yellow, brown, grey
Unlucky Colors: red, green, blue
There are a number of famous people born in the year of the Pig, including Henry VIII; Oliver Cromwell; Ernest Hemingway; Julie Andrews; Lucille Ball; Ronald Reagan; Amy Winehouse and Carrie Underwood.
Pig Love Compatibility
Most compatible with Dogs: Tiger, Rabbit, Sheep
Relationships between Pigs and these three signs are likely to be long and harmonious. They are all very pragmatic and will be able to work together to solve any problems or overcome the challenges they face. They are all very compassionate and will be considerate of each other’s feelings and desires.
Least compatible with Dogs: Monkey and Snake
The Pig couldn’t be any different to the Monkey and the Snake. Though people often say that opposites attract, such big differences often lead to clashes. They will rarely agree on most issues, and this causes arguments discontent. A short, fiery and passionate relationship may result, but it will never lead to a happy longterm arrangement.
What’s in Store for the Year of the Pig?
As the year of your birth is seen to be unlucky, 2019 will be a year of ups and downs for people born in the Year of the Pig. Pigs may face career setbacks in the coming months; though this may be scary at the time, try not to worry too much as towards the end of the year, things should smooth over and work in your favour. In terms of health, it should be a pretty average year. However, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself.
In the love and relationship department, this year will actually be lucky, especially for male pigs; they will have an easy time attracting their desired love interests. Unfortunately, female Pigs may not have the same fortune and must work hard to make relationships work.