The Year of the Pig

In the US, we celebrate the New Year on January 1st, with festivities on the eve of the new year. We all get together, throw parties, pour champagne, count down to midnight and take part in our own traditions. There are all kinds of traditionsthatmake us happy,bring good luck and set us up for a greatnew year. For some, it’s that midnight-new-year-kiss. For others, it’s having black eyed peas or eating 12 grapes at midnight.

In China,the Chinese New Year (CNY)is a big deal.  It is the new Spring, it celebrates a new beginning, forget the past, and focus on the good things that will come during the upcoming new year.   This thought process is particularly welcome this year: 2018 was a rather turbulent year; with wild stock market gyrations, China trade wars, imposed tariffs, etc.  Much to worry about. Thankfully, the year is now behind us and there is no need to thinkabout it anymore. Instead, we look ahead with excitement to what the future may hold. This is a time of hope, an opportunity to start afresh with a blank page, and plan ahead for the new year, find ways to realize yourdreams.

Whereas we have a 2-day celebration (new year’s eve and new year’s day), the Chinese celebrate for a whole two-week period during which everyone tries to go home. This triggersthe largest humanmigration in the world (see our blog on that here). And when everyone is home, families typically gather together and make dumplingsfor a reunion dinner, eat fish (“fish” in Chinese sounds like “excess, abundance”),exchange red envelopes, watch fireworks, make a lot of noise,light firecrackers, and attendlion and dragon dances. You can read more about Chinese traditions during the new year here.

In the US, we use the Spring season to signify the beginning of a fresh, happy season – the flowers are blooming, the weather warms up, and we do what we refer to as a “spring cleaning,” getting rid of the old and making room for the new.

2019 is the Year of the Pig. The pig is representative of luck, overall good fortune, wealth, honesty, and prosperity.  If you look at images of pigs for the CNY, you notice they are fat and happy.  If you were born inthe year of the pig, this suggests that you area hard working, peaceful person who is truthful, generous, tolerant, patient, reliable, understanding, sincere, and sociable with an enormous sense of humor.

Happy Chinese New Year! We wish you all a happy and prosperous year of the Pig!


By Jocelyn Trigueros

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