Pig (zodiac)

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The Pig () is the twelfth of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. In the continuous sexagenary cycle, every twelfth year corresponds to hai, and is also commonly called the "Year of the Pig" . There are also five types of Pigs, named after the Chinese elements. In order, they are: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, and Earth.

In the Japanese zodiac and the Tibetan zodiac, the Pig is replaced by the boar.[1] In the Dai zodiac, the Pig is replaced by the elephant.[2] In the Gurung zodiac, the Pig is replaced by the deer, which has no close relation.[3]

Pig in the Chinese zodiac legend[edit]

According to the myths, the Pig was the last to arrive when the Jade Emperor called for the great meeting. Other sources said that Buddha called for a great meeting when he was about to leave the Earth. The Pig came in last.

Legend has it that just as the emperor was about to call it a day, an oink and squeal was heard from a little Pig. The term "lazy Pig" is due here as the Pig got hungry during the race, promptly stopped for a feast then fell asleep. After the nap, the Pig continued the race and was named the 12th and last animal of the zodiac cycle.[4]

Other sources say that given his very stout form, he was just too slow a swimmer, and thus he could not do anything against the other animals.

Years and the Five Elements[edit]

The view of the Pig along the Coastal City of Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea

The Pig and the Elements[edit]

The natural element of the Pig is Water. Thus, it is also commonly associated with emotions and intuitions. Yet, given that along with the elements (called the Celestial stem), the animal zodiac (called the Earthly stem) also follows a cycle, each of the elements affect the characteristic of the same Earthly stem.

However, the Pig is yin, and thus only the negative aspects of the elements can be attached to them, thus only 5 kinds of Pigs are found in the zodiac. They are the following:

(yǐhài) – The Wood Pig
(dīnghài) – The Fire Pig
(jǐhài) – The Earth Pig
(xīnhài) – The Metal Pig
(guǐhài) – The Water Pig

The Years of the Pig[edit]

People born within these date ranges can be said to have been born in the "Year of the Pig", while also bearing the following elemental sign:[5]

Since the Chinese zodiac follows the Lunar calendar, it also does not coincide with the Gregorian calendar years or months. Thus, a person born on 9 February 1899 still belongs to the preceding zodiac (i.e. the Dog) while those born on 31 January 1900 already belongs to the following zodiac (i.e. the Rat).[6]

Start date End date Heavenly Branch
4 February 1935 23 January 1936 Wood Pig
22 January 1947 9 February 1948 Fire Pig
8 February 1959 27 January 1960 Earth Pig
27 January 1971 14 February 1972 Metal Pig
13 February 1983 1 February 1984 Water Pig
31 January 1995 18 February 1996 Wood Pig
18 February 2007 6 February 2008 Fire Pig
5 February 2019 24 January 2020 Earth Pig
23 January 2031 10 February 2032 Metal Pig
10 February 2043 29 January 2044 Water Pig

The month and hour of the Pig[edit]

Month of the Pig[edit]

Aside from being assigned a year, the Pig is also assigned to govern a month in the Lunar calendar. As the lunar month cycle begins in spring, the Pig is also assigned to the 10th month, usually the time when winter begins. This lunar month corresponds to the Gregorian calendar as beginning from 7 November, and ending at 6 December.

The first half of the month is called 立冬 (or in pinyin: Lìdōng). Literally, it means the "Start of Winter". It begins when the Sun reaches the celestial longitude of 225° and ends when it reaches the longitude of 240°. It more often refers in particular to the day when the Sun is exactly at the celestial longitude of 225°. In the Gregorian calendar, it usually begins around 7 November, and ends around 22 November.

The second half of the month is called 小雪 (or in pinyin: Xiǎoxuě). Literally, the time of the "Little Snow". It begins when the Sun reaches the celestial longitude of 240° and ends when it reaches the longitude of 255°. It more often refers in particular to the day when the Sun is exactly at the celestial longitude of 240°. In the Gregorian calendar, it usually begins around 22 November, and ends around 7 December.

A person born in any year is said to inherit some attributes of the Pig if they are born during these months. Thus, in order to complete the astrological reading, it is important to know this month as well.

Hour of the Pig[edit]

Given that the day is composed of 24 hours, each sign is also given to the different signs of the zodiac. The Pig was also assigned to govern the time between 21:00 hrs to 22:59 hrs. According to tradition, this is also the time when the Pig is doing what it does best (sleeping and enjoying the sweet life).

In terms of astrology, the hours in which the person is born (technically termed as the Ascendant) is the second most important facet of their astrology. Thus, this also alters greatly the characteristics of a person. Even if a person was born in a year governed by another animal (for example someone born on 20 December 2000, i.e. year of the Dragon) will display strong characteristics of the Pig as well. Thus, they may also be fierce and strong like the Dragon, but at the same time emotional and intuitive like the Pig.

Chinese Zodiac Pig Compatibility Grid[edit]

Sign Best Match Average Match No Match
Pig Pig, Rabbit, Goat Dog, Tiger, Horse, Dragon, Monkey, Rat, Rooster, Ox Snake

Relationship with other signs[edit]

The Pig also belongs to the fourth Trine of the Chinese zodiac. It is also most compatible with the Rabbit as they build a harmonious relationship. The gentle and sensitive Goat is also most compatible with the Pig. Also, two Pigs can get along well with each other. It is said that the relationship between these three archetypes work best as they strive for aestheticism, beauty, and a more philosophical, and intellectual approach in life. Their calm nature also gives them great leadership abilities.

They are artistic, refined, intuitive, intelligent, and well-mannered. These souls love the preliminaries in love, and are fine artists in their lovemaking. The Rabbit, Goat, and Pig have also been bestowed with calmer natures than the other nine signs.

These three are compassionately aware, yet detached and resigned to their condition. They seek beauty and a sensitive love. They are caring, unique, self-sacrificing, obliging, sensible, creative, empathetic, tactful, and prudent. They can also be naive, pedantic, insecure, cunning, indecisive, and pessimistic.

The Snake, is said to be the most incompatible with the Pig as the jovial character of the Pig is very opposite from that of the reserved and contemplative Snake.

Basic astrology elements[edit]

Earthly Branches of Birth Year: Hai
The Five Elements: Water
Yin Yang: Yin
Lunar Month: Tenth
Lucky Numbers: 2, 5, 6, 8; Avoid: 3, 4, 9
Lucky Flowers: Lily of each and every species
Lucky Colors: yellow; Avoid: red, blue
Season: Winter
Closest Western Zodiac: Scorpio

Cultural notes[edit]

Some Chinese Muslims will say that they were born in the year of the hai to avoid saying the Pig.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ricardobaddouh (2014-01-28). "Tibetan Astrology – Table of Year-Animal-Element". Retrieved 2017-06-09.
  2. ^ "Chinese Zodiac". Warrior Tours. Retrieved 2017-06-09.
  3. ^ "Tamu (Gurung) Losar Festival". ECS Nepal. 2010-07-11. Retrieved 2017-06-09.
  4. ^ Audrey Lim (2003-03-03). "Legend of the Chinese Zodiac". ThingsAsian. Retrieved 2017-06-09.
  5. ^ Hesse, Annie. "Chinese Astrology: Introduction". Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  6. ^ "Chinese Zodiac – Pig (Boar)". Your Chinese Astrology. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  7. ^ Gillette, Maris Boyd (2002). Between Mecca And Beijing. Stanford: Stanford University Press. p 124. Google Book Search.

Further reading[edit]

  • Neil Somerville (2006). Your Chinese Horoscope 2007: What the Year of the Pig Holds for You. HarperCollins. p. 384. ISBN 9780007211326.
  • Neil Somerville (2012). The Pig in 2013: Your Chinese Horoscope. HarperCollins. p. 80. ISBN 9780007478651.
  • Neil Somerville (2013). The Pig in 2014: Your Chinese Horoscope. HarperCollins. p. 320. ISBN 9780007537044.
  • Neil Somerville (2015). The Pig in 2016: Your Chinese Horoscope. HarperCollins. p. 320. ISBN 9780008138189.
  • Neil Somerville (2016). The Pig in 2017: Your Chinese Horoscope. HarperCollins. p. 52. ISBN 9780008205515.