In addition to the 12-year zodiac animal cycle, there is a cycle of five elements making a 60 year cycle. This year was a Red Dog year and tomorrow will be a Red Pig or a Fire Pig year. This year is Dīnghài 丁亥, the 24th year of the Sexagenary Cycle (1887, 1947, 2007, etc.) I think we started hearing more about the bigger cycle in 2000, a "Golden Dragon Year". (Yes, I heard the odd rumor of it being a “Golden Pig” but it is just a rumor, perhaps started by some fortune tellers in Korea. No folklorists will support it.)
Monday, January 29, 2006 started a Red (Fire) Dog Year, 4704
The next 12-year cycle starts on:
A Fire Pig year is good for expanding families and businesses. Feng shui experts say that this Year of the Pig will be a turbulent year and not peaceful, but it may be a good year for scholars.
In Japan I have been told that 2007 corresponds to Heisei 19, and while it is also a year of the Pig for them, many reports say they prefer the “Year of the Wild Boar”.
(I hear that that a golden pig year might not be so good for expanding businesses.) The Year of the Dog was supposed to be a good year to be married – but I have learned that in some parts of China, the divorce rate went up too, especially for newly married! Perhaps some who rushed into marriage for the year of the dog(?) decided it was a mistake. Regardless, they are no longer married and don’t have to decide whether it would be good for them to have a child this year.
China Daily reports that it may not be the best year to have a child in China. "Many couples are planning to have children during the next lunar year in anticipation of good luck, but the Year of the Pig baby boom may result in a rise in population that will affect children's future education, job prospects and even retired lives.” (Or see a China empire's prettier post of the same article.)
Bill Hadju, at Chinese astrology.com says that "Health issues vary not only by sign but by individual. Your best bet is to visit a Chinese doctor to have your balances checked and get some advice for the coming year. It is a Fire year, so one thing we can say in general is to be on the lookout for signs of stress and a tendency to overextend one's self." Not bad advise for many of us - in any year!