Pig (zodiac)

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The Pig () is the twelfth and the last sign of the Earthly Branches ( ). It is characterised as yin so only the negative elements can be attached to it.

In the continuous Sexagenary cycle, every twelfth year corresponds to Hai, and is commonly called "the Year of the Pig" (豬年). There are five types of Pigs, named after the Chinese elements. In order, they are: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, and Earth.

Pig in the Chinese Zodiac Legend

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.[1]

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

The view of the Pig along the coastal city of Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang province, South Korea.

The Pig and the Elements

The natural element of the Pig is water. Thus it is commonly associated with emotions and intuitions. Yet, given that along with the elements (also 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 this 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 Wooden Pig
(dīnghài) - The Fire Pig
(jǐhài) - The Earthen Pig
(xīnhài) - The Metal Pig
(guǐhài) - The Water Pig

Each element is said to alter a bit the personalities of the person born in the year of the Pig. Thus, those who were born in the year of the Wooden Pig are said to possess stronger convictions than the rest. Yet, like the bamboo, he is flexible when the situation calls for it.

Those born in the year of the Fire Pig are supposed to be enthusiastic, extroverted, rebellious, passionate, brave and valiant; however, they can also be hot-tempered, snappy, uncontrollable and short-tempered.

As the earth is seen to be constant and unchanging, those born in the year of the Earthen Pig are believed to be calm, practical, hard-working, brave, smart, wise, stable and patient; however, they can also be stubborn, possessive, nearsighted and very harsh.

Metal, being the hardest of the elements give the Pig an air of firmness, rigidity, persistence, strength and determination. The Metal Pig can be controlling, ambitious, forceful and set in their ways. They are often more self-reliant and prefer to handle their problems alone.

Being its natural element, those born in the year of the Water Pig are said to show the extremes of being a Pig. They can be very emotional, deep, nurturing, sympathetic, empathetic, imaginative and intuitive; however, they can also be cold, moody, jealous, sentimental, sensitive, escapistic and irrational.

The Years of the Pig

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:[2]

It should be noted that since the Chinese zodiac follows the Lunar calendar, it doesn't coincide with the Gregorian 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).[3]

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

Month of the Pig

Aside from being assigned a year, the Pig is also assigned to govern a month in the Lunar Calendar. As the Lunar month begins on Spring, the Pig is 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 節氣 (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. And thus, in order to complete the astrological reading, it is important to know this month as well.

Hour of the Pig

Given that the day is composed of 24 hours, each sign is given to the different signs of the zodiac. The Pig was assigned to govern the time between 21hrs00 to 22hrs59. According to tradition, this is 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 his astrology. Thus, this 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 8 November 2000, i.e. Year of the Dragon) will display strong characteristics of the Pig as well. Thus he may be fierce and strong like the Dragon but at the same time emotional and intuitive like the Pig.

Relationship with other zodiacs

The Pig belongs to the 4th Trine of the Chinese zodiac, along with the Rabbit and the Goat. 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 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 it Rabbit, Goat, and Pig have been bestowed with calmer natures than the other 9 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

Earthly Branch of Birth Year: Hai
The Five Elements: Water (Shui)
Yin Yang: Yin
Lunar Month: Tenth
Lucky Numbers: 2, 5, 8; Avoid: 1, 3, 9
Lucky Flowers: hydrangea, pitcher plant, Marguerite
Lucky Colors: yellow, gray, brown, golden; Avoid: red, blue, green

Cultural note

Some Chinese Muslims will say that they were born in the year of the hai to avoid saying Pig.[4]

See also


  1. http://www.thingsasian.com/stories-photos/2363
  2. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  3. http://www.yourchineseastrology.com/zodiac/pig.htm
  4. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found. Stanford: Stanford University Press. p 124. Google Book Search. Retrieved on 5 October 2013.