Millions celebrate Chinese Year of the Pig

Happy pig: A New Year celebration takes place in Shanghai, China.

Do you believe in astrology? This week, one fifth of the world’s population is celebrating Chinese New Year. The Year of Pig promises to bring wealth, joy and relaxation…

What’s happening

Xin Nian Kuai Le! This weekend, thousands of people will gather in London’s Chinatown to watch a colourful New Year parade. There will be red dragons, traditional dances, martial arts displays and delicious food.

There will also be lots of snouts. Welcome to the Year of the Pig!

Find out more

Unlike Western countries, the Chinese year is based on the lunar calendar. This means the date changes every year depending on the phases of the Moon.

Each year is named after one of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. The pig is the last in the cycle, and it represents wealth.

In China, the year you are born is believed to shape your personality. This is because the position of the planets is said to influence life on Earth. Reading and understanding these signs is called astrology.

For example, people born during the Year of the Pig are seen as cheerful, generous and lucky.

Do you believe in astrology?

Some say…

Of course not. There is no scientific evidence that the planets have anything do with your personality. People born at the same time do not share similar traits. The system was created 5,000 years ago, before modern science was invented. It is out of date.

Others think…

There is so much we do not know about the universe. How can we be sure that the planets do not affect our lives? Horoscopes and star signs are becoming more popular with young people trying to make sense of their lives. What is wrong with that?

You Decide

  1. Would you ever change your plans based on your horoscope?

Activities

  1. Find out more about the personality traits of your Chinese zodiac sign and discuss with the person next to you. Does it sound like you?

Some People Say...

“I don’t believe in astrology; I’m a Sagittarius and we’re sceptical.”

Arthur C. Clarke

What do you think?

Word Watch

Xin Nian Kuai Le
“Happy New Year” in Chinese.
Chinatown
An area which is mainly populated by Chinese people.
Snouts
Pig noses.
Lunar
Relating to the Moon. In the lunar calendar, each month starts with a new moon.
Zodiac
An area of the sky divided into 12 sections.
Astrology
The study of the movement of the planets across the sky and how this (supposedly) affects life on Earth.
Horoscopes
Predictions based on astrology. In Western countries, this is based on your birth month.

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