Welcome to the Year of the Earth Pig and our 25th Feng Shui guide, offering you an alternative look at what's in store to help the luck flow in your direction. Hardworking and affectionate, the Pig is the twelfth and last sign in the Chinese Zodiac. Scroll down to snout out all manner of forecasts for the year ahead.
We reveal your zodiac's health, wealth, love and career stars, speculate on what awaits some celebrities, suggest a good place to park your trotters and how to mitigate negative energy, highlight auspicious days and, most importantly, predict the Hang Seng Index's monthly pig path.
Wild boars no more, pigs as we know them - the housetrained variety - have been with us for a little over 10,000 years. Domesticated independently in the Near East and in East Asia, they began to appear in our literature and arts almost as early as those forms came into being; few of us grow up without a pig in the imagination, from the fun pigs of Zhu Bajie, McDull and Piglet to the towering malevolent Napoleon of Animal Farm.
Pound sterling hits parity with the US dollar • Major corruption scandal • Elon Musk sends a car into space piloted by a pig • Dust storms in the west • Renminbi breaks 7 • China outperforms the USA • Global temperatures hit new highs • Arsenal wins the Europa League • Vietnam market takes off • Enterprise-malware vaccines quadruple following serious hacking incident • SenseTime includes pig facial recognition in its latest software • Theresa May takes up knitting • New TV service knocks HBO and Netflix off the podium • Strongest hurricane in living history lashes west coast of the USA • Australian laboratory discovers bushfire-retardant tree species • Amy Adams wins an Oscar • Global emissions increase prompting huge climate rally • US president retreats to Miami and does not tweet for days • Fresh wave of emigration • Mexico digs a long trench to keep US citizens out • Pigs gain recognition as builders of most Mesolithic stone circles • Robotic process automation makes major gains
On Monday, 4 February, the Earth Pig hogs the limelight . . . oink, oink. Again, we attempt to call the pattern and relative magnitude of the Hang Seng's monthly movements based on the interplay of the Pig's destiny chart and the birth date of the Index (24 November, 1969), which makes it an "Earth Rooster". The spirits forbid us from associating ourselves with any number masquerading as a scientifically determined HSI target!
The Hang Seng has a complicated fate this year and is likely to end up with his cockscomb a little dishevelled. Yet money is there to be made, and feathers will shake and fluff out some gold dust, though you'll need to pick your moments. Fortunes will shine in May, June and the final trimester, with November shaping up as the best month to fatten your wallet.
A knife-in-the-ribs year if ever there was one in 2007; Pigs might not fly, but our Rooster did a very good impersonation in 1995; some unwelcome winds huffed and puffed in mid-1983, but autumn witnessed a complete turn of events; and the index gritted its hen's teeth in 1971 to finish on a higher perch than it began.VIEW MORE
In China, life’s sucesses and failures are more often attributed to the workings of mysterious earth forces, known as Feng Shui, than to human actions. Whether making an investment, travelling abroad, arranging office furniture or choosing a spouse, timing and positioning in accordance with Feng Shui are considered crucial in order to achieve health, prosperity and happiness.
Our focus, first and foremost, is to forecast the monthly moves of the Hang Seng. We compare the Bazi fortune chart for the Earth Pig with the chart of the Hang Seng. Next, we assess wu xing (the five energies) and the interaction of xuan kong (flying stars).
Then, we blend it all together, add a gratuitous garnish of our own divining and serve it up on a platter. Water and fire are unsettling the Pig's fortune chart this year, while metal - which our Rooster has in spades - is mostly absent, and the little there is clashes with wood. With so much volatility, it's a case of limiting losses rather than chasing large gains.
Small quarrels and pesky spirits may upset the Pig's usual good-natured enthusiasm this year. Rabbit and goat-shaped amulets will offer some protection. May, June and November look to be the best months to find those golden eggs.
Wood brackets the year, fire burns a hole through the spring, earth and metal load us down over the summer, while water flows through the autumn. Match your season with your element, consider all the cardinal directions and, as they like to say, invest rationally!VIEW MORE
Feng Shui determines the points on the compass assigned to potential negative energies, or malevolent qi in their various guises. The usual suspects are the Tai Sui, Tsui Po, San Sha and Wu Wang: ghostly forces meandering across the Feng Shui firmament, so if the predictions are not in your favour, purchase a cannister of reality and breathe deep . . . you'll be fine.VIEW MORE
Welcome to the Battle Royale where good stars fight bad influences and vice-versa.
We highlight hotspots and notspots in Hong Kong worth your attention. The Centre is best; avoid the Northeast and Southwest; and don't dig in the West.