No matter how your particular culture celebrates the beginning of the year, it's always a time of renewal and optimism. Vows are made, traditional foods eaten, and families and friends gather to wish one another luck and happiness. During the Lunar New Year, an additional element comes into play: the Chinese zodiac animal that represents the upcoming year. We're about to leave the Year of the Dog, but what animal will represent 2019 in the Lunar New Year?
Bacon-lovers, rejoice: According to the Chinese New Year website, 2019 will be the Year of the Pig, a symbol we haven't seen since 2007, since there are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. Legend has it that long ago, the Jade Emperor decided the order of the zodiac animals based on the order in which they arrived at his party. The Pig came dead last, because he overslept.
This zodiac is somewhat more involved than the Western zodiac most of us know, because the cycle also includes five elements of nature (wood, fire, earth, metal, water), each of which projects a different energy onto the year's animal. For example, next year will be the Year of the Earth Pig. People born under this specific sign are kind, peaceable, generous, and resilient, according to Feng Shui Web. Women especially are said to be easygoing, organized, and a natural at caring for children. The year itself is associated with laziness and wealth. (If that means putting less effort in and getting more money, let's hear it for the Year of the Pig!)
Interestingly, according to Chinese astrology, you're less likely to be lucky during a year that corresponds to your own sign, according to China Highlights. (Legend says that Tai Sui, the God of Age, gets ticked off with people celebrating their sign's anniversary year.) In other words, although a Pig year is thought to be fortunate for most people, particularly where money is concerned, it's not going to be so great for people born in previous Pig years. The Chinese New Year site cautioned that they should avoid conflicts and be prepared for some emotional roller-coastering. It's also not the best year for them to hit the casinos or switch careers.
On the other hand, Pig-born folks will find 2019 a good time to pursue higher education, and they'll most likely avoid serious illnesses (although they need to take steps to ensure that minor sicknesses don't get worse). They'll also find that the period between April 8 and July 20 is luckier than the rest of the year, with September 12-December 2 being their unluckier time span.
There are also ways to keep bad luck at bay during your sign's year, China Highlights explained. One easy way to invite good fortune is to wear red, the traditional Chinese color of prosperity and happiness. There's a catch, though: Your red clothes and accessories have to be given as a gift to you. Buying a scarlet scarf for yourself won't work, but you might want to get one for your fellow Pig friends. Facing your furniture away from Tai Sui is also considered lucky if you're trying to escape the curse: turn your beds and desks to the southeast.
Celebrating the Lunar New Year is a joyous time that lasts 15 days, according to The Chinese Zodiac. Although certain days have restrictions attached to them (no eating meat on the first day; no visiting anyone on Day 5), the holiday in general is a time for visiting with family and giving gifts (particularly money in red envelopes).
But here's a heads-up: Don't plan on attending a Lunar New Year parade around the same time the ball drops in Times Square, and your friends who celebrate the occasion might chuckle a bit if you wish them a happy Year of the Pig on December 31. Because the lunar calendar is different from the one used in Western countries, the Pig year doesn't start until February 5, 2019. So we have a little more time to make the most of the Year of the Dog — which means pushing ahead toward our goals. The Chinese Zodiac noted that the Year of the Dog is characterized by "ACTION!", and people are motivated to stop procrastinating and work hard. "It will be an exhausting year," they added. By the time early February rolls around, we'll probably be more than ready to put on the brakes and enjoy the more laid-back, pleasure-loving vibe of the Pig.
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