Today is actually the beginning of the Lunar New Year, also known as the Chinese New Year. Our Gregorian calendar is based on the Solar Year. 2007 is the year of the Golden Pig, so for sometime in the stores you've seen many pig items (ofttimes gold) for sale. The Chinese Zodiac runs yearly (not monthly) on a 12 year cycle and this being my 24th year* makes me a pig (sometimes called a boar). This was pointed out to me by one of my students who wanted to know what year I was born, and when he found out we were both pigs he was excited (John Choi loves his teacher). I certainly don't believe in astrology of any kind but just for fun I looked up the traits of a Pig. Some of them are "accurate", some are not. This is what one page had to say ~
People born in the Year of the Pig are chivalrous and gallant. Whatever they do, they do with all their strength. For Boar Year people, there is no left or right and there is no retreat. They have tremendous fortitude and great honesty. They don’t make many friends but they make them for life, and anyone having a Boar Year friend is fortunate for they are extremely loyal. They don’t talk much but have a great thirst for knowledge. They study a great deal and are generally well informed. Boar people are quick tempered; yet they hate arguments and quarreling. They are kind to their loved ones. No matter how bad problems seem to be, Boar people try to work them out, honestly if sometimes impulsively. They are most compatible with Rabbits and Sheep. You are a good friend. You are sincere, tolerant and honest. You are sometimes disappointed. You will thrive in the arts as an entertainer or you will be a great lawyer.
Meh - as I said I don't believe it but it still is amusing to see. And Rebecca and Laura; you're both pigs as well so there you go (=
There are also different elements that go along somehow, but I have no idea what the determining factor is there. As previously stated this is the Year of the Golden Pig, meaning that children born this year will be especially prosperous. I am a Water Pig (whatever that means). Other elements include Fire and Wood. There are more but I don't know them. If you are interested in finding out what Chinese Zodiac animal you are go here.
*Another interesting note: Asians do not consider themselves to have aged on their birth date. The celebrate the day they were born, but actually consider themselves as having gained a year on January 1st (why not the beginning of the Lunar New Year I don't know). They are also considered to be a year old when they are born. So when you ask them their age you have to ask them their "American" age. Their "American" age is 1 or two years younger than their "Korean" age. Some still get confused, so I just ask them what year they were born.