Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New year, is a time of change, new beginnings and fresh starts. It’s also a time of wonderful traditions.
Most people are familiar with the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac, but did you know that each year is associated with an element? The five elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water, and each contributes it’s own special attributes. An element actually spans two years, so by combining the 5 elements with the 12 zodiac signs, it means that a particular element+animal combination only happens once every 60 years!
2019: Year of the Earth Pig
We are currently saying goodbye to the year of the Earth Dog and entering the year of the Earth Pig. The pig is the twelfth zodiac sign. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order [of the zodiac animals] would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. Pig was late because he overslept. Another story says that a wolf destroyed his house. He had to rebuild his home before he could set off. When he arrived, he was the last one and could only take twelfth place (sound familiar?)1 Pigs are said to represent wealth and good fortune. People born in the year of the pig are said to be realistic, enthusiastic, energetic and action-oriented.
Ways to Celebrate
New Threads: If you’d like to celebrate, a good way to start is some new clothes! They are considered auspicious, and a wonderful way to eliminate the old energy of the previous year and welcome good fortune in the new year.
Make sure your threads are shades of reds: Red is considered a very lucky color. Avoid black and white, as they’re considered negative and unlucky.
Get your nibble on: A great way to celebrate is with seasonal food. Spring rolls are (obviously) representative of the spring festival. Fresh jiao zi, or dumplings, are also traditional.
Lunar New Year begins on February 5th, and celebrations extend through February 16th.
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