While we may have just about recovered from our Christmas and New Year's antics, today gives us another reason to celebrate: February 5 is the official start of Chinese New Year. Today is the beginning of the traditional Spring Festival in China, which will continue until February 16, when preparations begin for the Lantern Festival three days later. February will be filled with celebrations for the new year, which is the Year of the Pig.
Why is it the Year of the Pig? Well, in Chinese culture, their zodiac is based on a 12-year-cycle, with each year in the cycle dedicated to an animal sign. The 12 Chinese zodiac signs are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. 2019 is the last year of this 12-year-cycle, making it the Year of the Pig.
The year you were born marks you under a particular Chinese zodiac sign — similar to your star sign, just like if you're a Sagittarius or a Capricorn. However, these signs are based on years and not months. And, similar to your 2019 star sign horoscope, the Chinese new year can affect your mood, choices and events in 2019 too. Take a look at the 12 zodiac signs below, figure out which one you are, and see how this Chinese new year might affect you.
Year of the Rat (born in 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008)
Those born in the Year of the Rat are generally very optimistic and energetic, kind, but a little stubborn. They're very independent but sometimes lack the courage to follow through on decisions.
In 2019, people born in the Year of the Rat can expect to find a lot of good luck and fortune, but they should be careful to avoid bad omens — stay away from anything that symbolises sickness or death. This year will also be very positive for love and friendships, but be sure to focus on loyalty and honesty in your relationships.
Year of the Ox (born in 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009)
Year of the Ox babies tend to be very hardworking, but they never demand the spotlight — they're reliable, intelligent and earnest. While these are all very admirable qualities, an Ox expects everyone to live up to their standards of hard work and honesty, which can make them a little difficult to work with. They are, however, very logical and kind, and make great leaders.
This year is unfortunately set to be a little tumultuous for those born under the Ox — while stability will be the overall theme, there will still be a lot of ups and downs. They should use this time to strengthen bonds with their loved ones and colleagues, and to pace themselves when it comes to work challenges. It's nothing they can't handle.
Year of the Tiger (born in 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010)
As the name suggests, Year of the Tiger babies are adventurous, energetic and sometimes difficult to control. They will never give up on a challenge, and are kind, if a little brash.
In 2019, Tigers will enter the year feeling confident and ready to take on the world — but they should also remember to stay relaxed and focus, and to accept help from those that offer it. Put your motivation to good use, and learn something new or travel to an exciting destination — just remember to leave your stubbornness at the door.
Year of the Rabbit (born in 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011)
Rabbit babies are extremely kind, earnest and soft-spoken people — but don't take that to mean that they're weak. They are actually quite confident and focused, but sometimes find it hard to really open up to others.
The Year of the Pig will bring success to rabbits, and a lot of changes. They should be ready to work hard and make progress on their dreams, while also staying calm when things might go wrong. Relationships will be a challenging area this year — don't rush into any big decisions, and stay open to different people who cross your path.
Year of the Dragon (born in 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012)
Dragons are the most revered creature in Chinese culture, and those born under them are seen to be very lucky. Dragons tend to be very strong and independent, but close themselves off emotionally, and yearn for more love and support from others than they reveal. They are very focused and brave, but sometimes tend to neglect their relationships in favour of a career or other pursuits.
This year, dragons can expect many new opportunities to arise, which they will master, as long as they work on their stubbornness and ability to work with others. 2019 is set to be a particularly lucky year in love, and dragons may find a potential long-term partner, or further their bond with an existing one. But be warned, miscommunication is their biggest weakness, so be sure to work on solving problems with loved ones by talking it out.
Year of the Snake (born in 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013)
Those born in the Year of the Snake are complicated; while they tend to be distrustful and sometimes jealous and quick-tempered, they also love deeply and are very empathetic to others. They also tend to be very funny, and very smart — they can always think of a solution to a problem, even in the most stressful situations.
In 2019, it will sometimes be hard to stay positive for Year of the Snake babies. The year will have its fair share of challenges, and they should focus on taking time out to relax, to be outdoors in nature and to celebrate life so as not to get caught up in negativity. Persevere, and your luck will return before you know it.
Year of the Horse (born in 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014)
As their name suggests, horses are free spirits who are full of energy, but are often impatient with those who aren't. Happiness motivates them rather than wealth or success, but their emotions can be very fickle. But even if they have an outburst of anger, they'll move past it very quickly.
There's good news for Year of the Horse babies in 2019 — this will be your year, in everything from relationships, career and personal growth. If you remain as passionate as you have been so far, this year will be great for you — the only thing you should worry about is getting a little burnt out from all your productive energy.
Year of the Goat (born in 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015)
Those born under the goat are loving and completely selfless — often to their own detriment, as they can sometimes get taken advantage of. Goats are quiet observers — they consider all aspects before making a decision, and never act on impulse. They love children and nature, and are generous in all aspects of their life, but don't do well with conflict — they tend to shut down, as they just want the fight to be over.
2019 will be a much more successful year for goats, after a somewhat tumultuous 2018. Expect plenty of lucky opportunities to come your way, especially in your career, and to find peace in a loved one. Try not to become defensive if difficulties come up — remember to persevere and don't let it affect your kind spirit.
Year of the Monkey (born in 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016)
Monkeys are often the most intelligent sign — quick, logical and calm with their decisions. But because they're so intelligent, they can also be a little arrogant, and often competitive with others. But they are also enthusiastic, funny and very sociable — they get along well with others, despite their competitive nature.
This year signals a lot of fun and adventure for monkeys — but that doesn't mean they should be reckless. Enjoy the ride and let the growth of your career and relationships lift your mood — don't be disappointed if they don't grow as quickly as you'd like.
Year of the Rooster (born in 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017)
Serious, decisive and a bit of a perfectionist — this sums up those born in the Year of the Rooster. They are very family-oriented and depend on loved ones for validation and encouragement. While mostly calm and logical, you don't want to get a rooster angry — they tend to lose their temper pretty quickly, and can be very intense in arguments.
Unfortunately, last year wasn't the best for roosters, and 2019 may not be much better. Although things will settle down, there will still be many pitfalls this year for roosters, and they should be careful to relax and remain positive in the face of these. Seek help from those that support you.
Year of the Dog (born in 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018)
As you might guess, those born under the dog's biggest quality is their loyalty. They will never abandon a friend, and are great for advice, helping others and making decisions. Their sociability hides anxiety and worries inside, and they sometimes put their friends' needs before their own.
While they are always the ones who protect others, dogs will need protection and support this year. Be aware of fatigue and stress, and take care of your mental and physical health this year. This is a year to take things easy and to enjoy yourself throughout 2019.
Year of the Pig (born in 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019)
And finally, the animal of the moment, the pig. While not always the most ostentatious animal, those born under the Pig are always enthusiastic and enjoy life immensely. They can be a little frivolous when it comes to spending and treating themselves, but they also have their eyes on the prize and work hard towards big goals in their careers.
Unfortunately, even though it may seem like it will be your year, 2019 is actually one of the unluckiest years for the sign of the pig. There are many areas which require hard work to get through, and although it might be frustrating, you need to adopt a 'stick it out' mentality to make it through. Stay positive — 2020 will be a lot better.