In the lunar calendar, it begins on February 5
Beijing: Han Meilin Chinese Zodiac Art Exhibition
Notable for creating the 2008 Beijing Olympics’ mascots, 82-year-old leading contemporary artist Han Meilin has devoted decades to drawing animals, especially those of the Chinese zodiac. This exhibition, held at the Palace Museum until February 20, showcases some of Han’s best works, inspired by traditional Chinese techniques — there’s calligraphy, ceramics and more. 4 Jingshanqian St; en.dpm.org.cn
Guangzhou: Peppa Pig pop-up indoor play park
Following the success of the first Chinese Peppa Pig family theme park in Shanghai, a pop-up attraction has landed in Guangzhou and will run until March 24. The 2,800m2 indoor park contains 10 play zones — inspired by the new film Peppa Pig Celebrates Chinese New Year (screening this month in Chinese theaters) — with life-sized figures of Peppa and her friends. Area B, Party Pier
Shanghai: Jinjiang Action Park light show
Come sundown, the Shanghai theme park will become a world of multicolored lights — thousands of lanterns, including those of the 12 zodiac creatures, will be lit to celebrate the new year, and will run until April 7. Stay also for music performances and a state-of-the-art light projection show. Note: Held Fridays to Sundays only from February 22. 201 Hongmei Rd; jjlysh.com
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What the Year of the Pig means to you
In many world cultures, pigs symbolize negative human behavior, but for the Chinese, the final animal in the zodiac wheel stands for good luck. The Year of the Pig occurs every 12 years in the Chinese lunar calendar — the previous four pig years were 2007, 1995 and 1983 — and the Chinese generally think of people of the pig zodiac sign as kind, sincere, intelligent, curious and optimistic. If you’re lucky enough to have been born in the Year of the Pig, you’re probably very popular and sociable too!
This article first appeared in the February 2019 issue of Smile magazine.