2019 is the year of the Pig. But what does that mean? Let’s rewind for a moment.
The Chinese New Year is a Chinese festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar, which is tied to the Chinese lunar calendar. In mainland China, the festival is usually referred to as the Spring Festival, which began on February 5th and ended on February 19th.
This holiday is traditionally a time to honor household and heavenly deities as well as ancestors. It is also a time to celebrate family and bring loves ones together for feasting.
The Chinese calendar also includes Chinese zodiac signs that are symbolized by 12 animals. Each animal represents a path of the sun through the cosmos, and therefore, each year rotates with its respected animal. This year is the year of the twelfth animal—the pig. The pig is a symbol of wealth and fortune. In terms of yin and yang, the pig is yin.
The year you were born in gives you the zodiac that represents you. Click here to find your Chinese zodiac.
Chinese culture believes certain personality and characteristics are common between those with the same zodiac sign.
“Pigs might not stand out in a crowd. But they are very realistic. Others may be all talk and no action. Pigs are the opposite. Though not wasteful spenders, they will let themselves enjoy life. They love entertainment and will occasionally treat themselves. They are a bit materialistic, but this is motivation for them to work hard. Being able to hold solid objects in their hands gives them security.”
Recent years of the Pig are: 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, and 2019.
How to Celebrate the Chinese New Year
Though the official celebrations are over, a new year is always a good time for reflections and new beginnings. Here are some great traditional and non-traditional ways to celebrate.
- Clean your home.
- This tradition is founded in the belief that cleaning your home will sweep away the bad luck from the past year. A clean home is also ready for the good luck to start entering again.
- Decorate with red.
- Red is the color for good luck in Chinese culture and is often used for New Year decorations.
- Hang up paper lanterns, display Chinese New Year artwork, or go as far to paint your door a bright red. Red doors in Feng Shui means “welcome.”
- Honor Your Ancestors.
- Show gratitude and respect for what your ancestors have done for you. In different cultures, this may be achieved very differently. Traditional Chinses customs include bowing a shire dedicated to them or offering them food and drink as a sacrifice.
- Show kindness to others.
- The Chinese New Year is a time of happiness and good fortune. It is important to spread goodwill at this time. Visit family and friends and enjoy your time together. Reach out to others and be kind.
- Eat traditional food.
- Learn about Chinese cooking and food traditions. If you aren’t an apt cooker, try a traditional chinses restaurant (versus the Americanized versions). There are countless traditional dishes, but some foods have more symbolism than others.
- Take care of yourself.
- Make your physical and mental health a priority. A great way to do this is with transformational acupuncture, which is a natural way to help us rebalance our lives and a key element in Chinese medicine.