Happy New Year! No, we don’t have our dates mixed up. It’s not the new year we’re used to, but the Chinese New Year, and in 2019, the festivities begin on Tuesday, February 5. This year will be the Year of the Pig, and according to the Chinese calendar, this isn’t 2019 but rather 4717 because the Chinese calendar is different from our Gregorian calendar. So what are these Chinese New Year celebrations all about?
What Is The Chinese New Year?
The Chinese New Year is a fifteen-day celebration marked by visits to relatives, the wearing of new clothes, and the giving of gifts. Chinese poetry is pasted around doorways and a huge feast consisting of eight dishes (8 being a lucky number to the Chinese) is served. The New Year celebration ends on the Full Moon on the fifteenth day with a Lantern Festival, which includes lantern displays and the famous dragon dance.
Why is This Year the Year of the Pig?
If you’re wondering why this is the Year of the Pig, it all starts with the Chinese calendar, which is based on a 12-year solar and lunar (“solunar”) cycle. Each of the 12 years is represented by a different animal in the Chinese zodiac: rat, ox, tiger, hare, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, pig. Pig Years are as follows: 1931, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031, and so on.
Traits of Pigs
If you happen to be born during the Year of the Pig, then you are said to be honest, with a hunger for knowledge. “Pigs” are chivalrous, kind, calm, and liked by nearly everyone, and with their careful, steady natures, they tend to avoid arguments.
Does This Mean 2019 Will Be a Lucky Year for Pigs?
Actually, no. Though it would seem that a Pig Year would be an auspicious time for Pigs, Chinese astrologers say these tend to be unlucky years, and you should be cautious during years that match your zodiac sign. Not necessarily a portent of bad luck, just that you should be more careful about finances, careers, and relationships. In China, many will even go so far as to wear red each day of the year to help ward off bad luck! See more Chinese New Year superstitions here.
Whatever your sign, the year 4717 is a great time to learn from the honest, hardworking example that the Pig sets for us.
What’s your Chinese Zodiac sign? Does it match your personality? Find out here.