The Chinese lunar calendar is about to turn to a new year, and those who celebrate will do so in grand style: parades, fireworks, feasts with foods symbolizing good luck and long life. The Lunar New Year also means a shift to a new sign in the Chinese zodiac: The period from February 5, 2019 to January 25, 2020 will be the Year of the Pig. Moms who are (or who will be) expecting this year might wonder, what does it mean when a baby is born in the Year of the Pig? Of course, every baby is a cause for celebration, but will there be a significance to having this year on your birth certificate?
There could be. One of the primary differences between the Western and Chinese zodiacs is the way the signs are timed. In Western astrology (the type most Americans are familiar with), the signs are determined by the position of the sun in a particular month. Chinese astrology cycles through a 12-year period, with each year represented by one sign, according to the Asia Society. The Pig is the final animal in the 12-year cycle; as the Chinese New Year site explains, legend has it that the Jade Emperor determined the order of the zodiac by the order in which the animals arrived at his party. The Pig overslept and arrived last.
But like the Western zodiac, each of the Chinese signs is associated with certain personality traits, both positive and negative (beyond the excessive sleepiness and/or tendency to sleep late that made the OG Pig tardy to the Emperor's get-together, that is). So if your new arrival makes their appearance this year (or in 2031, for those really planning ahead), this is what you can expect:
1. Your Child Will Be Surrounded By Friends
In Chinese astrology, each year is also associated with one of five elements — Metal, Fire, Wood, Earth, and Water — that also go through cycles. This year is an Earth year, and people born in an Earth Pig year are "social butterflies with friends from all walks of life," according to Chinese New Year. Your Pig child's patient nature and willingness to listen will make them a valued companion.
2. They Enjoy The Good Things In Life
Living "high on the hog" comes naturally to Pigs, and they enjoy the finer things, especially tangible symbols of luxury, according to Chinese New Year. At the same time, they're not spendthrifts, and they're more than willing to work hard for their material rewards.
3. They're Kind-Hearted To A Fault
The Pig's trusting nature is a wonderful quality, but unfortunately, others may take advantage of it. The Chinese Zodiac website cautioned that parents of children born this year may have to protect their young ones from kids who might play tricks on them or make unreasonable demands. "They need guidance to help them sharpen their skills in setting barriers when they are needed," the site explained.
4. Girl Pigs Will Be Richer Than Boys
Not all pigs are born equal. Chinese New Year explained that women born in a Pig year will earn great wealth through their hard work. Men, on the other hand, could find once again that their naivete makes them easy prey for scammers. Teach your Pig-born children early on not to share too much personal information, and not to fall for every hard-luck story they hear.
5. They Have Their Shortcomings
We all have our faults, and for people born in a Pig year, those weaknesses are likely to include irritability, nosiness, stubbornness, and self-indulgence, according to Chinese Fortune Calendar. Pigs also tend toward moodiness and can quickly slip into pessimism (so expect some major teen angst later on).
6. They'll Have Lucky Numbers And Colors
Just as with Western astrology, each animal in the Chinese zodiac is associated with certain lucky aspects, according to Chinese New Year. For people born under the Year of the Pig, wearing or decorating with the colors yellow, gray, and brown will be particularly fortunate; blue and green, not so much. Their lucky numbers are 2, 5, and 8, but they should avoid the numbers 1, 7, and 9. And if you're looking for jewelry or a key chain for your child down the road, agate is the Pig's lucky stone.
7. They'll Be Besties With These Signs
You probably know which Western astrological signs are most compatible with your own (Pisces and Cancer are a match made in heaven, for example). Same goes for the Chinese zodiac. For your Pig child, plan for playdates with children born under the signs of the Tiger, Rabbit, and Goat, advised Chinese New Year. All three appreciate the Pig's best qualities, and the Tiger has the strength to protect the Pig against the mean kids. But proceed with caution if your child gets chummy with a Snake or Monkey-born peer; the clash of personalities will make for serious drama.