In another week’s time, Chinese New Year will be upon us. With an estimated 1.4 billion people in the world celebrating this joyous occasion, this marks the beginning of a new lunar year, the year of the pig.
If you were born in the years 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983 or 1995 (2007, 2019), then guess what, you’re a pig (no offence, it’s your Chinese zodiac and pigs are great characters)!
We prepared some fun facts for you about the new year, excellent to impress your peers at the countless CNY dinners ahead
1) The last of the Chinese zodiacs
The Chinese calendar knows twelve animals and the pig is the last one (12th). Legend has it that the when the Jade Emperor hosted a grand party to celebrate the beginning of his new calendar, the pig arrived late at the party because it overslept (the original party animal) and hence became the last of the 12th zodiac signs.
2) Golden pigs
In Chinese culture, pigs are considered a symbol of wealth and you’ll see lots of golden pig statues around, especially during this time. The chubbier the face, the larger the ears, the better it is as both symbolize great fortune. Did you ever wonder why we are using piggy-banks to save our dollars? One theory goes that piggy banks were originally invented in China during the Qing dynasty.
3) BFFs - Best friends forever
People born in the year of the pig are said to be realistic and reliable. They don’t feel the need to steal the limelight, but rather let actions speak for themselves. Pigs are generally viewed as great companions and trusted friends.
4) Heavenly match
Looking at the characteristics of each zodiac, pigs are best matched with tigers, rabbits or goats. Tigers are said to be brave and will provide the needed security. Rabbits will fall in love with the warmth and smartness of pigs, whereas goats share a lot of interests with pigs (It’s a match!).
On the other hand, pigs are said to clash with snakes and monkeys, as relationships may be tensed and both animals refused to compromise (watch out for those cheeky monkeys).
5) Pork luck
According to Chinese astrology, people should be extra careful in the year of their zodiac. During this year, people offend the God of Age (Tai Sui) and may encounter bad luck. Even though it’s the year of the pig, it is predicted that they will enjoy prosperity and love this year. Male pigs may get lucky to find their significant halves, whereas Miss Piggy will need to spend more time dating and may not meet her prince right away (don’t give up!).
6) VIP - Very Important Pigs
Ever wondered what Arnold Schwarzenegger and Hillary Clinton have in common, besides an acquired taste for leather pants? They were both born in years of the pig! Other famous ‘pigs’ include Henry Ford and Ronald Reagan. There’s a whole celebrity pigsty out there! No mentioning would be complete without Liu Xiang, a Chinese sports legend who was the first national athlete to become a three-gold medal Olympic champion and record holder for 110-metre hurdles running and probably the most famous pig in Chinese culture.
7) Pigs beyond borders
The new year is celebrated across cultures, but not always as the year of the pig. Not far off though, in the Japanese and Tibetan zodiac calendars, the pig is replaced by a boar. In the Yunnan province of China, the Dai people celebrate the year of the elephant, whereas in Nepal, the Gurung people (also known as Tamu) celebrate the beginning the year of the deer.
8) Dry clean only
Remember to avoid any laundry chores during the first day of the new year (Thursday, 5 February). As the first day of the new year is dedicated to the birthday of the god of water, anyone doing laundry that day risks to wash away good luck and fortune for the rest of the year. The same goes for showers, sweeping or taking out the trash (stock up on mouthwash and dry shampoo).
9) The blacklisted pig
Now this is not directly related to the zodiac subject, but we had to include it. One of the world’s most beloved pigs, British cartoon ‘Peppa Pig’ is facing tough times in China, even though it has a huge Chinese fan base. According to official information, Peppa is seen as a subversive ‘gangster’ icon associated with ‘shehuiren’ culture, referring to people who are unemployed and poorly educated. Thousands of videos of Peppa have been removed from popular Chinese streaming sites due to these official concerns. Not a good year for Peppa.
10) Get lucky
According to Chinese symbolism, the lucky stone for people born in the year of the pig is agate. Agate comes in several forms, such as Onyx, which is said to absorb negative energy and protects its wearer. To protect yourself or surprise your significant other with a thoughtful gift, discover MYKU’s collection of unique timepieces featuring black Onyx and red Sardonyx here.
MYKU wishes you and your loved ones a very happy Chinese New Year!
May you be blessed with many happy returns, a full piggy bank and some crispy bacon (if you like).