Having my daughter visit from China for the last ten days has (in addition to being a wonderful time) brought back memories of my twenty something years in the far east. New year is for the Chinese similar to what Christmas is for westerners. Trains and flights are full as family members endeavour to return home to their roots – and for the young the possibility of red (a lucky colour) envelopes from any older friend/family member unlucky enough to be cajoled by their new year greeting into parting with the approapriate cash gift (the contents of the envelopes.)
Like Christmas new year tends to be expensive lol! So much so that rich family members sometimes even go so far as to leave the country to avoid the visits of cousins, aunts, uncles, twice removed, etc. and their offspring. It’s not only the red envelopes – graded in batches of carefully allocated amounts by every responsible adult wishing to evade the bad luck promised to anyone foolish enough to not respond to a “goon hey fa choi” greeting (not how its spelt) with an appropriate envelope. Appart from all that everyone must wear a set of new clothes, spring clean the house etc. to begin a new year auspiciously. It’s just as well the Chinese are now some of the richest people in the world lol!
There’s more, much more! It’s all about luck and Chinese astrology which asigns each year a respective animal, and people born in that year certain characterists. For example dragon babies are especially prized as having the potential to become strong and powerful leaders – planned pregnacy can even take these things into account. (As for me I’m the year of the rabbit, which is pretty nice, and yes, I do have a bunch of children lol!) This year is the year of the pig so here’s a brief rundown on “pigs” (incase you are expecting a child this year.)
“The Pig’s Personality:
Pigs are diligent, compassionate, and generous. They have great concentration: once they set a goal, they will devote all their energy to achieving it. Though Pigs rarely seek help from others, they will not refuse to give others a hand. Pigs never suspect trickery, so they are easily fooled.
Generally speaking, Pigs are relatively calm when facing trouble. No matter how difficult the problems are Pigs encounter, they can handle things properly and carefully. They have a great sense of responsibility to finish what they are engaged in.
In Chinese element theory, each zodiac sign is associated with one of the five elements: Gold (Metal), Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth. An Earth Pig comes once in a 60-year cycle. It is theorized that a person’s characteristics are decided by their birth year’s zodiac animal sign and element.
Each year is also associated with one of five elements, and 2019 is an Earth Pig year.
Happy new year!