The Chinese New Year is here – and 2019 is the year of the pig. Here, we look at what you can expect the year to bring if you were born a pig, and if you are likely to be lucky in love or money.
The pig is one of the 12 signs of the zodiac in China and signals good fortune for those born under the sign in the years 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995 and 2007.
Pigs are the symbol for prosperity. Other attributes attached to pigs by astrologers include decisiveness and a realistic outlook on life.
They are also party animals, with outgoing personalities, a love of parties and having a good time, while being generous and extravagant to friends.
Unsurprisingly, pigs are popular with their friends and neighbours, but they do lack suspicion and can easily fall prey to cheats and scammers.
Pigs are also hard working and entrepreneurial.
Celebrities born in the year of the pig include psychologist Carl Jung; writer Ernest Hemingway; thriller film director Alfred Hitchcock and Tibetan religious leader the Dalai Lama.
So why is the pig a Chinese star sign?
The story goes the heavenly Jade Emperor decided to divide time into 12-year segments and to nominate an animal to guard each segment.
He sent messengers to spread the word that the fastest animals to reach the Heavenly Gate would be picked as guards, ranked according to the order they arrived at the gate.
The animals were quick to take up the honour and sped to the gate.
The emperor had almost given up on the last animal when a stout pig trotted up to the gate explaining he had stopped on the way to sleep because the race was so tiring.
When does the Year of the Pig start and end?
The Year of the Pig begins on the first day of the new lunar year on February 5, 2019 and ends on January 24, 2020, when the Year of the Rat will start.
What’s in store for pigs this year?
Pigs looking for love should team up with tigers, rabbits or goats, although this is not expected to be the year when pigs find the one.
Out of the other signs, the most compatible are tenacious tigers, who give pigs a feeling of security, while rabbits worship their intelligence and warmth and goats share many common traits and interests.
This year is likely to be tough for pigs, who will need to keep their heads down and work hard to make a living.