Will we all prosper in the Year of the Pig?
If you were born in 1983, 1995 or 2007 - all Years of the Pig - Chinese tradition suggests that 2019 could be a tricky financial year for you.
Next week, one-sixth of the world’s population will begin their annual Chinese New Year celebrations. The Chinese New Year (also known as the Lunar New Year) falls on Tuesday 5 February, and is a time to herald in the spring, as well as new beginnings.
It’s apparently tough luck for those born in previous Years of the Pig though. That’s because for the year of one’s own zodiac sign (běn mìng nián) trouble apparently lurks around every corner.
Tradition suggests that for Pigs in this lunar cycle it’s not a good time to make investments. In fact, superstition advises that in 2019, Pigs should pay special attention to any decisions about moving house, starting a business, or even getting married!
What does the Year of the Pig mean?
Having a Malaysian-Chinese mother meant this time of year was particularly special for me as a child, as I would get to tuck into turnip cake, and receive red envelopes with money inside (hóng bāo) from generous relatives.
However, the money given must never have a four in its figure as the word for four is close to that for death!
Chinese New Year also means the start of a new zodiac cycle, represented by twelve animals - rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Each holds defining characteristics, and this year is the Year of the Pig.
Chinese tradition dictates that this is a particularly auspicious cycle for some groups of people, inclined to bring prosperity and wealth. However, those born in the New Year of the Pig may be less fortunate.
Does that mean it’s the Year of the Piggybank for everyone else?
The other zodiac signs show a more positive outlook. Those born in the years of rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey and dog can hope to be prosperous and happy in the coming months, as the pig is also symbolic of wealth, abundance and joy in Chinese culture.
Superstitions suggest that for those born in the other 11 zodiac signs, 2019 is an auspicious year for reflecting on the past and preparing for the future.
Whatever your animal sign, make this Lunar New Year the time for change and getting your finances in shape.
Jiǎo tà shí dì literally means “to step on solid ground”. But metaphorically, it means that if you work hard and focus on the fundamentals, you may proceed in a steady and stable fashion. Much like Warren Buffett (if you’re lucky).