Happy Chinese New Year

恭喜发财 (gōng xǐ fā cái) wish you wealth and prosperity. Happy Chinese New Year – a year of fortune and luck! Year of the pig 🙂

The Pig is the twelfth of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. In the continuous sexagenary cycle of sixty years, every twelfth year corresponds to hai, 亥; this re-recurring twelfth year is commonly called the Year of the Pig.

Pig in the Chinese zodiac legend

According to the myths, the Pig was the last to arrive when the Jade Emperor called for the great meeting. Other sources said that Buddha called for a great meeting when he was about to leave the Earth. The Pig came in last.

Legend has it that just as the emperor was about to call it a day, an oink and squeal was heard from a little Pig. The term “lazy Pig” is due here as the Pig got hungry during the race, promptly stopped for a feast then fell asleep. After the nap, the Pig continued the race and was named the 12th and last animal of the zodiac cycle.

Other sources say that given his very stout form, he was just too slow a swimmer, and thus he could not do anything against the other animals.

Years and the Five Elements

The natural element of the Pig is Water. Thus, it is commonly associated with emotions and intuitions. Yet, given that along with the elements (called the Celestial stem), the animal zodiac (called the Earthly stem) also follows a cycle, each of the elements affect the characteristic of the same Earthly stem.

However, the Pig is yin, and thus only the negative aspects of the elements can be attached to them, thus only 5 kinds of Pigs are found in the zodiac. They are the following:

乙亥 (yǐhài) – The Wood Pig
丁亥 (dīnghài) – The Fire Pig
己亥 (jǐhài) – The Earth Pig
辛亥 (xīnhài) – The Metal Pig
癸亥 (guǐhài) – The Water Pig

More on the Chinese New Year

The Years of the Pig

People born within these date ranges can be said to have been born in the “Year of the Pig”, while bearing the following elemental sign:

Since the Chinese zodiac follows the Lunar calendar, it does not coincide with the Gregorian calendar years or months. Thus, people born on 9 February 1899 still belongs to the preceding zodiac (i.e. the Dog) while those born on 31 January 1900 already belongs to the following zodiac (i.e. the Rat).

Start date End date Heavenly Branch
30 January 1911 17 February 1912 Metal Pig
16 February 1923 5 February 1924 Water Pig
4 February 1935 23 January 1936 Wood Pig
22 January 1947 9 February 1948 Fire Pig
8 February 1959 27 January 1960 Earth Pig
27 January 1971 14 February 1972 Metal Pig
13 February 1983 1 February 1984 Water Pig
31 January 1995 18 February 1996 Wood Pig
18 February 2007 6 February 2008 Fire Pig
5 February 2019 24 January 2020 Earth Pig
23 January 2031 10 February 2032 Metal Pig
10 February 2043 29 January 2044 Water Pig
28 January 2055 14 February 2056 Wood Pig
14 February 2067 2 February 2068 Fire Pig
2 February 2079 21 January 2080 Earth Pig
18 January 2091 6 February 2092 Metal Pig
4 February 2103 27 January 2104 Water Pig
Chinese New Year - Year of the Pig
Chinese New Year – Year of the Pig

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is the Chinese festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. The festival is usually referred to as the Spring Festival in mainland China, and is one of several Lunar New Years in Asia.