Piglet, Winnie the Pooh's good friend, will see lots of babies
born this year, sharing the same nickname with him.
This Chinese New Year, which starts on February 18, is believed to be an especially lucky "golden pig year" which only comes around every 60 years.
A baby boom is about to hit China, as couples try to ensure their newborns get a happy, wealthy life by starting off in the Year of the Pig.
Hospitals across the country are expecting to accept more pregnant women. And for maternity and baby-related business, the year of the pig will be a "golden" year.
According to Chinese tradition, women should eat special food and be taken good care of during the first month after they gave birth to the baby. They should stay in the house for the whole month.
Since more new babies are on the way, nannies will probably be one of the most demanded jobs in the piglet year.
Chinese superstition holds that babies that are born in the year of the pig will have an easy life. But it will not be easy for their parents to handle. The first problem they are facing is how to successfully book a hospital to deliver the baby when the hospitals are overcrowded and heavily booked.
The second problem will be the education. To register the young piglets with a good kindergarten and a nice primary school later will not be easy because there are too many kids of the same age.
The overheated educational system in China was facing a challenge last year due to another baby boom which came in the year of 2000, the Year of the Dragon. Babies born in 2000 were called "dragons" and thought to be lucky and more powerful according to the Chinese perspective. The dragon is respected as the symbol of the nation.
Six years later, when those dragons were old enough for schools, the educational system suffered. Beijing Primary School, one of the top schools in the capital city, witnessed an explosion of new students. It enrolled 1,000 students in Year 1, let alone those who were refused. The amount doubled compared with the year before due to the baby boom.
The third consequence is that the "dragons" and "piglets" will face tough competition when they grow up.
Not all the people are following the trend. Some still have their feet on the ground. "Any time you have a baby, it is a lucky year," said one young couple.
A good government policy and professional parenting should alleviate any problems on how to deal with the baby boom.
According to Chinese Lunar calendar, every year is symbolized by an animal. There are altogether 12 animals thus they repeat every 12 years. People born in the same animal year are said to be of similar character.
Which year were you born in? What is your animal? Check if it describes you properly.
The Year of the Mouse: 1972, 1984, 1996
Characteristics: optimistic & quick-thinking
The Year of the Ox: 1973, 1985, 1997
Characteristics: hardworking & perseverant
The Year of the Tiger: 1974, 1986, 1998
Characteristics: adventurous & daring
The Year of the Rabbit: 1975, 1987, 1999
Characteristics: tender and soft-hearted
The Year of the Dragon: 1976, 1988, 2000
Characteristics: powerful & strong-minded
The Year of the Snake: 1977, 1989, 2001
Characteristics: mysterious & thoughtful
The Year of the Horse: 1978, 1990, 2002
Characteristics: independent & open-minded
The Year of the Sheep: 1979, 1991, 2003
Characteristics: elegant & knowledgeable
The Year of the Monkey: 1980, 1992, 2004
Characteristics: clever & resourceful
The Year of the Rooster: 1981, 1993, 2005
Characteristics: energetic & competitive
The Year of the Dog: 1982, 1994, 2006
Characteristics: loyal & honest
The Year of the Pig: 1983, 1995, 2007
Characteristics: frank & outspoken
About the Author:
Thabang Motsei, editor of the web site, has a three-year working experience
in journalism in South Africa; Jemima Ogbuigwe, one of the sub-editors, is the
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working for China Daily Website over the last decade… People with similar
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