February 18th 2007 is the start of the new Chinese Year of the Pig. Chinese name: Zhu, sign of honesty. The Western counterpart is Scorpio.
The Pig is a fun and enlightening personality blessed with patience and understanding. People born under the sign of the Pig enjoy life and all it has to offer. They are honest and thoughtful and expect the same of others. Pigs can be perceived as gullible because they care about others so much, that they will do anything for a friend in need.
The Pig Year follows the Dog Year and is the last animal in the Chinese twelfth year cycle. Pig Years are: 1911*1923*1935*1947*1959*1971*1983*1995*2007
Pig people share certain characteristics: "Its better to give than to receive" is their motto. They donít like asking for help, preferring to carry the burden themselves. Pigs will do anything to maintain a sense of peace amongst family or friends. Even to the extent of being taken advantage of, but Pigs are compassionate souls who basically forgive and forget. In short Pigs are hardworking, giving, willing, helpful, materialistic, gullible, oblivious, and obstinate. For more about this Pig Year click here.
For 5,000 years Imperial China used the word "jade" as something precious. Because jade is said to have all the attributes most valued in society. A symbol of purity and serenity, it is delicate, but will not break - is beautiful, but not impermanent, it can be flawed with lines, but still pleasing. It is believed to radiate divine unconditional love and balance the emotions. Held in the hand it can improve judgment - ancient silk traders often held jade while bartering. A small piece of jade worn around the neck was said to dispel illness.
Chinese jade first arrived in the West during the sixteenth century, brought from Canton by the Portuguese. Today jade continues to be a symbol of love, virtue, and status. With Chinese carvings reaching the highest value. The best jade has a waxy, pearly appearance. Feeling cool and so smooth, it seems soft to the touch. Yet hard enough that pressure from a sharp knife will not leave a mark.