Article By Tim King

Spring Festival, otherwise referred to as Chinese New Year, is right around the corner. 2019 will be the Year of the Pig, the twelfth and final year in the latest cycle of the Chinese Zodiac. Pigs are generally representative of happiness, honesty, sincerity, bravery and wealth; on the flip side, they also symbolize stubbornness, naivety, self-indulgence. For you Pigs out there (those born in 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, etc.) you’ll be entering your ben ming nian (本命年), or “circle year.” In a circle year, your animal is “offending” a deity called Tai Sui, so you may be affected by his curses. Bummer.

Usually my Chinese Zodiac articles are focused on the specific Zodiac Animal of the Year, but this year I’ve decided to spread the wealth to the other animals in the pantheon and provide horoscopes for all twelve of them. My research involved taking a day off and heading into the countryside, where I and a crack team of astrologists that Xianease Magazine keeps on retainer (who I definitely didn’t make up) rented a pig and made him interact with each of the other eleven animals of the Chinese Zodiac. These are our findings.


Upon meeting our pig, the Rat did what rats do, which is to get on its hind legs and sniff around. When he noticed that the pig was staring straight at him, he panicked and hid near the pig’s trough. This was a win-win for the rat, who felt safe and was also privy to a treasure trove of things to steal and eat. We interpreted this to mean that those born in a Year of the Rat can expect a prosperous year.


The pig and the ox are both farm animals, entirely used to one another’s whole deal, and as such did not produce any interesting interactions. Thus, we felt that this meant 2019 would be a generally fine year for all oxen.


It seems that the pig did not appreciate just how much effort it took to get a live tiger into his pen. Pigs are anecdotally famous for having a sense of their own mortality, and so ours immediately began freaking out. Luckily for him, we’d fed the tiger prior to their meeting, so he was in no actual danger. This, we assume, is a sign that in 2019 all tigers should learn to get along better with others.


The total opposite of our tiger experiment, the rabbit was the one to be afraid at first. After a short while, the rabbit eventually calmed down and became good friends with the pig, even going so far as to hop online and buy a timeshare together. In 2019, other rabbits should follow suit by being less wary and forging new and beneficial relationships.


Dragons, as we all know, are not real. For our experiments, we had to substitute a living, breathing dragon with a statue we bought in the Muslim District. Our swine remained calm when the dragon entered the pen and, so moved, the dragon decided that 2019 would be a good time to be similarly calm and reconsider their life.


Things were tense at first between the snake and the pig. Tensions thawed when the snake produced a shiny red apple and said, “Come on. You know you want it.” The pig then ate the apple and became suddenly ashamed that he was naked. As with our apple serpent, communication and persuasion will be key for a snake’s success in 2019.


The goat started his time with the pig by running around the pen, hitting things with its horns and eating an aluminum can, as is his wont. Feeling fatigued from a morning of strange animal pairings, we took a cigarette break. When we returned, we found the two animals spooning. Goats are generally the red-headed step children of the Chinese Zodiac, since their circle years are considered horrifically inauspicious; however, our experiment indicates that in 2019, goats will finally get lucky.


Interactions between the monkey and the pig were cold at first, that is until the monkey spoke. “Hey, were you traveling around India around the year 627?” he asked. The pig responded, “I was, why do you ask?” The monkey then put on a crown and said, “Zhu Bajie! It’s me! Sun Wukong!” After their tearful reunion, they both reared up and kung fu’d the hell out of one of our researchers. Just like the Monkey King himself, monkeys can expect a year of spiritual transformation in 2019.


Our rooster started things off by strutting around acting like he owned the place, much to the pig’s dismay, who thought they would be farmhouse bros like they always had been in the past. In 2019, roosters will have to try not to be cocks and focus on strengthening their relationships both old and new.


Dogs are generally bundles of energy, and our puppy subject was no exception. She spent a few minutes sniffing around and checking things out before getting bored and trying to escape. She tried to enlist the pig’s help, but the pig’s calm complacency meant he wouldn’t be part of the plan. In 2019, dogs should focus their boundless energy on worthwhile projects, and learn to recognize when they need to push forward by themselves.


As previously mentioned, pigs are in their circle year and, thus, are cursed. Get your red panties ready to ward off bad luck and misfortune.

Are you doing anything special during the Year of the Pig?
Let us know at xianease@xianease.com


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