Chinese New Year 2019: The Pig

This coming Chinese New Year will take place starting on February 5th, 2019. This is the year of the Pig – the last sign before the cycle restarts next year. The festival is known as ‘Spring Festival’ in modern mainland China and is undoubtedly their biggest festival of the year, both traditionally and in terms of how widespread it is celebrated. The date has great importance worldwide as all cultures are involved in wishing each other good fortune and health for the year to come.



Two Little Piggies, 2012 (w/c on paper), Alison Cooper / Private Collection


The Pig is the 12th and final Zodiac sign – the exact reason is unclear, though there are several theories. According to popular Chinese myth, the Jade Emperor decreed that the order of the Zodiac was decided by the order in which the animals arrived to the party. The Pig, apparently,  overslept, though other stories tell that a wolf destroyed his house, and he refused to set off until he had rebuilt it. In any case, by the time the Pig arrived, he could only take the last remaining spot.



Feeling Great (oil on canvas), Pat Scott (1932-2017) / Private Collection


In spite of its lateness to the party, Pigs are prospering symbols of health and wealth, with their chubby faces and big ears also apparently a sign of fortune.



The Pig, 1998, (oil on linen), Cristina Rodriguez / Private Collection


Those with the Pig zodiac are said to be all about impulse and action. They have security but love to press harder for further achievements. They can be materialistic but this gives them motivation to work harder, even tackling the most boring or trivial of tasks with relish. Their ultimate aim is to seek positions of power and wealth, finding happiness while they do so.



An anthropomorphic pig performing in a circus (colour litho), English School, (20th century) / Private Collection / Look and Learn / Valerie Jackson Harris Collection


Of course, there’s more to the Zodiac than a different animal each year – there are also elements associated with each year which changes independently of that year’s animal. In 2019 the element of the year is Earth. The element is then applied to that year’s amimal. Earth Pigs  are found in 2019 and previously 1959. They have a strong social drive with friends from all walks of life, are successful at work, and enjoy support both in and out of the workplace.


Famous People born in the Year of the Dog 

There are quite a number of notable public figures with the Dog Zodiac sign and you may want to decide for yourself whether you think they have the associated personality traits! They include: Elton JohnAmy WinehouseStephen KingRick JamesFarrah FawcettTupac Shakur, Elon Musk, and the Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso).

PS112553 Pigs Galore (acrylic on calico) by Scott, Pat (1932-2017); Private Collection; English, in copyright. PLEASE NOTE: This image is protected by the artist's copyright which needs to be cleared by you. If you require assistance in clearing permission we will be pleased to help you.

Pigs Galore (acrylic on calico), Pat Scott (1932-2017) / Private Collection

Do you feel lucky? What to embrace and avoid if you were born in the Year of the Pig

Each sign in the zodiac has a set of lucky (and unlucky) colours and numbers. The Pig’s are as follows:

Lucky colour: yellow

Avoid: red, blue

Lucky numbers: 2, 5, 6, 8

Avoid: 3, 4, 9

Lucky Flower: Lily

NUL445540 Pigs, 1912 (oil on canvas) by Marc, Franz (1880-1916); 58x84 cm; Private Collection; German, out of copyright.

Pigs, 1912 (oil on canvas), Marc, Franz (1880-1916) / Private Collection

Humans have had a close relationship with pigs for centuries across the whole world. Discover our entire archive of Pig-related images and artworks, or have a look at our Chinese New Year lightbox for imagery specific to this celebration.



Rare Breed Pigs, 2009 (oil on canvas), Williams, Alex (b.1942) / Private Collection

Commission an image via Bridgeman Studio!

The Bridgeman Studio archive holds a vast number of charming pig paintings, illustrations, prints and photographs. Explore our current collection of adorable Pigs or commission one of our talented artists to design your dream dog!

2632511 Totally Organic (acryillic inks on paper) by Graa Jensen, Lisa; 30x30 cm cm; English, in copyright. PLEASE NOTE: This image is protected by the artist's copyright which needs to be cleared by you. If you require assistance in clearing permission we will be pleased to help you.

Totally Organic (acryillic inks on paper), Lisa Graa Jensen

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Read more

Chinese New Year 2018 – The Year of the Dog

Chinese New Year 2017 – Year of the Rooster

Chinese New Year 2016 – The Monkey in Art and Culture

Pigs in the Bridgeman Archive

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