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Chinese Year of the Pig: What does it mean?

February 05, 2019 09:00 IST
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The Chinese New Year, based on the Lunar calendar falls on Tuesday, February 5; 2019 is the Year of the Pig.

Chinese New Year of the Pig 2019

IMAGE: A boy holds a pig doll at a shopping mall ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year in Beijing, China. Photograph: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

The Chinese New Year is also called chunjie or the Spring Festival in China.

Every year around February, the holiday season begins to as people get together to celebrate the onset of spring and harvest, signalling the start of a New Year.

The festivities mostly involve praying, feasting, shopping and travelling.

This year, Chinese New Year falls on Tuesday, February 5.

What's interesting is it is named after an animal every year.

Last year was the Year of the Dog; 2019 is the Year of the Pig.

Chinese New Year of the Pig 2019

IMAGE: People wear costumes with pig shaped face masks ahead of Chinese New Year in Shanghai, China. Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters

As part of the celebrations, at midnight, firecrackers are burst to ward off any evil or negative energy. In some cultures, coins are exchanged as good luck as people welcome each other into the New Year.

Since red is the colour of prosperity, the children and youngest members of the house receive coins or money in little red packets with gold lettering.

The Chinese have many such interesting gifting traditions. For example, gifting someone oranges is meant to bring in prosperity.

The 15 days that follow the start of Chinese New Year is considered auspicious. The locals ensure their surroundings are clean and indulge in good practices during this period.

Chinese New Year of the Pig 2019

IMAGE: Visitors enjoy the decorations ahead of Chinese New Year in Singapore. Photograph: Loriene Perera/Reuters

According to Chinese tradition, cutting nails, trimming your hair, abusing, fighting or stealing during this period is considered to bring in bad luck and misfortune.

Besides China, those in South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and parts of Thailand also celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Check the table below to find out which animal sign you belong to based on your year of birth.

The Sheep: 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015

The Monkey: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016

The Rooster: 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017

The Dog: 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018

The Pig: 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019

The Rat: 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008

The Ox: 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009

The Tiger: 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010

The Rabbit: 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011

The Dragon: 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012

The Snake: 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013

The Horse: 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014

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