Ava Mac ’21, Feature Section Editor
Kaleidoscopic flashes of light spark across the night sky, and the color red adorns the clothing and decorations of people and cities alike. Homes around the world are filled with the savory smells of home cooked meals and are eaten by family members from far and wide. All of these festivities mean the Lunar New Year is upon us once again.
With the new year starting Feb. 5, and the celebration lasting a whole 23 days, Asian people across the globe welcome the coming year with open, excited arms, wishing for good luck and prosperity to all. This year is characterized by the twelfth Chinese zodiac, the pig.
The Chinese zodiac, a classification system existing for over 2,000 years, is a 12 year cycle, each year correlating with a certain animal. One of many legends says that the order of the zodiac animals was determined by their appearance to the mythological Jade Emperor’s party. The pig, as a very lazy animal, overslept and was late to the party and is therefore last in the zodiac order.
Symbolically, the pig represents wealth and fortune; although, those born in the years 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, or 2007 (the years of the pig) will face a good struggle with that.
Known as Ben Ming Nian (本命年 in Chinese), the year of which your animal sign takes place, is regarded as unlucky in Chinese culture. In one’s Ben Ming Nian, they may experience many overwhelming fluctuations in their emotions, finances, relationships, and health.
Chinese teacher Mrs. Shi said that in order to combat against this bad luck, those experiencing their Ben Ming Nian must “wear a red belt” as the color red symbolizes good luck. If this troublesome luck is combatted well, those with the pig sign can expect great progress in their dreams and professions.
As for other animal signs, such as the rat, dog, or ox, wearing great amounts of red is not as necessary, for the year of the pig promises them much success in relationships, money, and work.
Nevertheless, no matter what the calendar or stars may say about one’s year or luck, it is up to them to make it truly lucky themselves. It is best for all, regardless of a person’s sign, to spend the new year with family and friends and face the new year ready to accomplish any goal or problem that comes their way.
Photo courtesy of Pinmart