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The Year Of The Pig Begins


Happy New Year, Steve.


Oh, thanks very much.

GREENE: Yeah. Well, actually Lunar New Year, I guess we should say.


GREENE: Tuesday - yesterday - kicked off the year of the pig. This is the last zodiac animal on the Chinese lunar calendar. And I do have to warn people. If you were born during previous years of the pig, lunar horoscopes are saying 2019 could be a little bumpy. So just be careful out there.

INSKEEP: I wonder if we're going to need to fact check that horoscope at the end of the year.

GREENE: Maybe.

INSKEEP: Anyway, I - there are rituals to the Lunar New Year. We had Chinese last night in our family. Pork dumplings are popular. Firecrackers are popular, red envelopes filled with cash - hong bao. Those are the staples. But for some people, this event is more than a ritual. It's a celebration of who they are. Kyla Smith is a junior at Scripps College.

KYLA SMITH: Sometimes I feel out of place as an Asian-American, and I'm not sure what kind of heritage I can connect to. So I feel like it's important to celebrate things like Lunar New Year's. It, like, brings me comfort.

INSKEEP: Jim Chow (ph), a freelance photographer and journalist based in LA, says the year of the pig has a special meaning.

JIM CHOW: What we see as a pig is a very, like, cute little piggy. But some of us also see it as a boar, just rampantly charging headstrong in the game. What it means to me, the year of boar, is that we can make these decisions that are normally out of our comfort zones, and we get to really (laughter) reap the benefits.

GREENE: So some New Year's festivities last night, but Chinatowns across the country will be hosting festivals, parades and tributes for the next two weeks. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.