Society

What’s ahead?

Predictions for Year of the Pig

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One of Chinese literature’s most famous characters is Zhu Bajie, a mythical figure that’s half-human, half-pig. Zhu is smart but lazy, openly drools at beautiful women and has a ferocious appetite (he can eat up to 20 times the normal human diet but he still feels just half full).

If Zhu is any kind of role model, then it shouldn’t come as a major surprise that the Pig also has a mixed reputation within the Chinese zodiac. The swine marks the end of the 12-year cycle of animals in the Chinese calendar. According to one myth, the precise order of the animals in the zodiac was based on how punctually they arrived at the Jade Emperor’s party. The Pig was the last to show up because it overslept.

Despite the stereotypes those born under the Pig zodiac sign (1971, 1983, 1995 or any 12 years before or after) are reckoned to be generous, thoughtful and compassionate. They also like to indulge – sometimes excessively – in the finer things in life. One of history’s most famous ‘Pigs’ is Henry VIII (England’s most obese king).

Nevertheless, there is an ancient feng shui principle that “the Pig must move” which suggests that the Year of the Pig is traditionally volatile. The last Pig year – 2007 – when the housing bubble burst – resulted in one of the biggest global financial crises. The prior Pig Year – 1995 – marked both the beginning of the internet dotcom bubble and the tail end of an Asian boom that would bust into another major crisis a couple of years later.

So what might this Pig Year, which kicks off on February 5, entail? Earth and Water – the two elements associated with this particular year – combine to make mud. As a result, feng shui practitioners believe that the year will be murky and muddled.

Still, some sectors look more promising than others. This year being an Earth Pig Year, feng shui masters reckon that technology, internet and telecom stocks ought to do well. The education, environment and healthcare sectors will outperform too. However, it will be a bad year for companies in the tourism, logistics and transportation industry.

Raymond Lo, a feng shui expert, believes that because Pigs are deceptively smart, we should expect some high-profile fraud and corruption cases to make the news.

Joseph Chau, another master, has another reason for being cautious in the Year of the Pig: “Trade wars among countries will heat up. Therefore, businessmen must be cautious of their investments and be more conservative in handling their work. Businessmen have to think before they act. Do not be too eager or greedy when signing business deals. This will avert falling into monetary frauds. Maintain good relationships with employees to avoid labour problems.”

Of course, depending on when you were born, some zodiac signs will enjoy better fortune in the Year of the Pig than others. Read on for more on your outlook…

With the star of taohua shining upon them, those who are born under this zodiac (1948, 1960, 1972 or any 12 years before or after) will find themselves developing new relationships easily this year. However, for those who are married, this could be a year with many temptations. When it comes to careers, the year will bring plenty of new opportunities and progress. On the flipside, Rats, who are clever and quick thinkers, will likely find themselves overwhelmed, says feng shui master Peter So Man-fung, so he suggests that they stay calm and focused. Thankfully, Rats are likely to be energetic and strong all year long. Still, Lee suggests that they keep a healthy diet and avoid going to hospitals.

Those who are born in the Year of the Ox (1949, 1961, 1973 or any 12 years before or after) – like former US President Barack Obama – are believed to be hardworking and earnest. This year, they can expect a more auspicious year under the influence of the Pig. Even though there will be some obstacles, Oxen can look forward to a productive year. When it comes to wealth, Bu Yi Ju believes that their investments will pay off. The feng shui news portal suggests that investing in overseas markets will bring them good luck.

Amongst all the zodiac animals that have offended the Heavenly God this year, Tigers (1950, 1962, 1974 or any 12 years before or after), should consider themselves lucky that they are the least impacted. Unlike the other animals that will experience major ups and downs this year, the biggest obstacle for Tigers, who are courageous and active, is that they may find themselves alone most of the time, reckons Bi Yi Ju. The portal reckons that it is easy for Tigers to get into verbal fights over miscommunication so it is best that they avoid confrontation and make time for meditation. In terms of finances, says Dai Tin-feng, it is best that Tigers watch their spending and not rack up debt.

Without major lucky stars, Rabbits (1963, 1975, 1987 or any 12 years before or after) may find their overall fortunes a bit dim this year. Rabbits, which are quiet and have a great eye for detail, will have to work hard to get what they want. Those who are looking to have a baby might struggle with fertility. Meanwhile, trivial squabbles could weigh down those who are married or in a relationship. Thankfully, they have friends that will prove to be valuable this year, giving them a boost when they feel down. Rabbits should not make any dramatic changes this year but remain optimistic because the following year will be much better.

Strong and independent, Dragons (1964, 1976, 1988 or any 12 years before or after), are not very compatible with Pigs. As a result, this year they will face some headwinds. To boost their overall fortune, Lee Shing-chak, a Hong Kong feng shui master, believes that this is a good year for those in a steady relationship to tie the knot. Still single? This is a great opportunity to go out and meet someone special. He suggests that Dragons should wear something bright and colourful to bring good luck.

Those who are born in the Year of the Snake, like China’s President Xi Jinping (1953, 1965, 1977 or any 12 years before or after), are calm and observant. But they will have to be extra careful this year. That’s because the zodiac clashes with Tai Sui, the legendary God in charge of people’s fortune. Bu Yi Ju suggests that those born under this zodiac sign should remain on the defensive and avoid making any big or bold changes. For Xi, could that mean holding steady in his Taiwan policy? Lee Shing-chak, a Hong Kong feng shui practitioner, believes that those born under the Snake zodiac sign might consider changing jobs or moving to a new environment to boost prospects.

Those born under this zodiac sign will find the stars perfectly aligned this year, says Bu Yi Ju. Horses (1954, 1966, 1978 or any 12 years before or after) are natural leaders and trendsetters. Professionally, they will take on additional duties or even a new role, which could lead to significant advancement in their careers. This year also brings new romantic possibilities for Horses. Those who are single should take the opportunity to reach out to old friends, which could turn into something more meaningful.

There’s good news for people born in the Year of the Goat (confusingly it can also be denoted as a Sheep or a Ram). Even though those who are born under this zodiac sign (1943, 1967, 1979 or any 12 years before or after) are not believed to be natural leaders, they are kind and compassionate. This year, Goats have several lucky stars shining over them. Everything will go smoothly in their work and career: those who work in large organisations can look forward to a promotion; entrepreneurs will see their hard work pay off. This will also be a financially rewarding year for Goats, though Mak Ling-ling, a Hong Kong feng shui practitioner, suggests that they focus on their career and avoid casinos or making risky bets in the stockmarket.

Monkeys are intelligent and optimistic. Nevertheless, those born in the Year of the Monkey (1956, 1968, 1980 or any 12 years before or after) will likely face some headwinds this year. Mak believes that Monkeys – like Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May – could encounter some serious problems and challenges in interpersonal relationships. The only way to offset these misfortunes, she advises, is to stay optimistic in the face of adversity (a trait that Theresa May luckily doesn’t lack and needs during Brexit negotiations). Mak also recommends that they participate in more joyous occasions like birthday parties and weddings to enhance their overall fortune. The upside, though, is that they are in luck financially. Mak suggests that they could take the opportunity to make more aggressive investment moves.

Lucky stars are shining upon Roosters (1957, 1969, 1981 or any 12 years before or after) this year. According to Hong Kong-based feng shui master So Man-fung, it is a year of self-development for those born under this zodiac sign – whose key characteristic are considered to be seriousness and decisiveness. He suggests that Roosters, like actress Fan Bingbing, could take the opportunity to learn new skills or take up a new hobby, which will pay off in the long-run. Throughout the year, they may find themselves suffering from minor ailments, so Mak suggests that they watch their diet and exercise regularly.

After a tough Year of the Rooster, Dogs, like US President Donald Trump (1946, 1958, 1970 or any 12 years before or after), can look forward to a smoother year ahead (Democrats in Congress may beg to differ with this prediction). With lucky stars shining above them, Dogs, will establish strong interpersonal relationships and So believes that they should take the opportunity to push their agendas. However, Dogs might also find themselves victims to frauds and other scams so Bu Ji Yu suggests that people born under this zodiac sign should be careful with their investment decisions.

Being born in this zodiac year means that Pigs have offended the Heavenly God. According to Mak Ling-ling, a Hong Kong feng shui practitioner, the fortunes of Pigs will be a bit tumultuous this year. However, fortuitous events like getting married and having a baby could help improve the overall outlook. She also advises that those who are born under this zodiac sign must try to stay positive. When it comes to careers and investing, they should remain very conservative. Mak reckons that they should avoid changing jobs this year too.


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