chinese new year

Chinese New Year 2019: The Year of the Pig

Chinese New Year 2019:
The Year of the Pig

Happy Piggy Year 猪年快乐
Chet-Yeng Loong 龙籍莹
University of Hawai`i

2019 Chinese New begins on February 5 and 6 and lasts for 15 days. To learn the history of Chinese New Year visit this site, and here.

2019 is the year of the pig. In the Chinese Zodiac, there are 12 animals, and the pig is the last one. Do you know why? Click here for the story, and a wonderful video from Taiwan.

year of the pig

Since Mandarin is a tonal language, words that have the same pronunciation have different pitches. For example, “zhu” (pinyin) means pig, 猪 (first tone), “zhu” (fourth tone) means wish, 祝. More information about this tonal language can be found in a video from “Ni Hao! Sing and Chant Your Way to China!


  1. Inform the students that in China, the sound that a pig makes is “hu-lu-lu,” not “oink oink” as in the United States.
  2. Ask students to make a gesture to show the fat and round piggies, then piggies waking up. Ask students to jump around, and then make a gesture of smiling. Teach the students how to wish each other happy new year with the “gong xi” gesture (see below).
    year of the pig
  3. Speak the chant, and ask the students to make the motions as discussed above.
  4. Since the chant is written in a foreign language, teachers may use the video to help the students learn the lyrics. Teachers and students should watch the video multiple times.
  5. When the students are able to speak the chant, the teacher can teach the body percussion that goes with the words:
    • The teacher demonstrates tapping both pointer fingers together for the words, “zhu zhu gong xi” (mm 4) and stomping right-left-right for “xin nian hao” (mm 4). Students imitate.
    • The teacher speaks the chant from mm 1 to 3, students tap their pointers for “zhu zhu gong xi”, and stomp both feet for “xin nian hao” in mm 4.
  6. Divide the class into two groups.
    • First group: Ask students to pat on their laps (refer to the drum part):
      • for “xiao zhu xiao zhu” (mm 1) – pat right-left-right-left
      • for “xiao zhu pie zai” (mm 2) – pat right-left-right-left
      • for “xiao zhu tiao” (mm 3) – pat right-left-right on their laps
      • and for “zhu zhu gong xi” (mm 4) – tap their pointer fingers
    • Second group (refer to the cymbal part):
      • Instruct them to clap “pang du du” (mm 1), “hu lu lu” (mm 2), and “xiao zhu xiao” (mm 3).
    • Both groups: Stomp on “xin nian hao” (mm 4).
  7. Transfer first group’s body percussion to drums, playing on the drums with sticks for the pats and tapping sticks for the pointer fingers. Transfer second group’s body percussion to cymbals. Speak the chant and play the instruments.

Final presentation: Mouth the words and play the whole chant on the instruments.

Below is another song that is about a piggy. It is collected in “Ni Hao, Sing and Chant Your Way to China!”year of the pig

Happy “hululu” year!

Chet-Yeng Loong

Dr. Loong, a native Malaysian Chinese, has completed all levels in Kodaly and Orff-Schulwerk and is certified in both of these methods. Before coming to the University of Hawaii, Dr. Loong taught music in the public schools of Malaysia and at Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, OH. She has presented at local, state, national, and international conferences. Dr. Loong has also presented internationally in Korea, Malaysia, and a series of Early Childhood Music workshops in China. Currently, Dr. Loong serves as Chair of the music education area at the University of Hawai`i, president of the Hawai`i Music Education Association. She also serves on the editorial board of the Orff Echo, Korean Journal of Research in Music Education, a reviewer for the Malaysia Music Journal, and a member of the steering committee of the Alliance for Active Music Making in General Music Teacher Education. She was the past Conference Chair of HMEA and past Chair of the AOSA Research Committee. Dr. Loong is the Director of the Bambini, Stellini and Angeli Ensembles for the Hawaiian Youth Opera Chorus. In 2012, Dr. Loong was awarded as the outstanding music education alumni from the University of Akron where she completed her Bachelor's and Master's degrees.

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