While the January New Year glow has worn off for many of us, tomorrow marks another opportunity to refresh: the Lunar New Year, or the Chinese New Year. This annual celebration is marked by a different animal in the Zodiac calendar. Last year was the year of the Dog, and this year, we'll welcome the year of the Pig, which is the last Zodiac animal in the Chinese lunar calendar.
Despite some of the less-favorable traits we typically associate with swine, "there is nothing wrong with being a pig," says Shenzhan Liao, director of education at China Institute’s School of Chinese Studies. In fact, in Chinese culture, pigs represent wealth and treasure, because of their importance within an agrarian society, she says. From an astrological perspective, people born during the year of the Pig (which includes 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, and 2019) are believed to be philanthropic and generous, but also disciplined and hard-working. Pigs are very social and friendly (some might say too friendly), enjoy entertaining, and have a love for life.
If you're born in the year of the Pig, you can expect to put in some grunt work this year. In general, when the year aligns with the year of your birth, it tends to be more difficult than others, Chinese astrologer Laura Lau told Refinery29. To that point, those born under the year of the Pig might want to keep a close eye on their finances and wealth this year. Like the year of the Dog in 2018, the Zodiac element associated with 2019 is Earth, which encourages us to be organized and authoritative. Pigs born during an Earth year (1959 and 2019) may be more relaxed and focused than their pig peers born under other elements.
Regardless of your own personal sign, there are a few ways that you can celebrate the Lunar New Year. Before February 5th, Liao suggests decorating your house with red and gold. "In China red and gold are considered lucky colors since they are believed to convey happiness and prosperity," she says. If you're feeling the Pig's generosity, you can give red envelopes full of money to your family members, she says.
And what would the year of the Pig be without great food? Liao says there are a few foods that you should eat on Chinese New Year because they're associated with wealth: dumplings for success, rice cakes for prosperity, a whole fish for abundance, and citrus fruits for health. Whether you're born under the Pig or just want to eat like one, here's hoping you can harness the year of the Pig's prosperous spirit the rest of the year. Xīn nián kuài lè, y'all!