An unusual combination of factors has Shanghai heading for a baby boom. The current year in the lunar calendar is auspicious for weddings, while next year is auspicious for having babies. The surge in new families is also being fuelled by growing wealth, a relaxation of strict family planning policies and an influx of migrants. There's some debate about next year in the lunar calendar. The media and wedding companies say it will be a Year of the 'Golden Pig' - or a Year of the Pig under the influence of gold - which comes around only once in 60 years. It's seen as a good time to have offspring. Some fortune-tellers disagree, saying it's actually a Year of the Pig under the influence of fire. But such doubts haven't stopped women like Jessie Yang, who got married this month. 'I want to have a baby next year because many people said it will be the Golden-Pig year, which is auspicious for new babies. A 'Golden Pig baby' sounds lovely, doesn't it?' she said. Whatever the element, such as fire or gold, babies born in the Year of the Pig are supposed to lead lucky and comfortable lives. That is because the namesake animal never worries about anything beyond food and sleep, an elderly Shanghai resident explained. She said simple people can enjoy a simple kind of happiness. The newly married Ms Yang does have one concern, however: the expense of raising a child. 'I'm just afraid prices for baby products will rise. Wedding charges are much higher this year, since too many people are marrying,' she said. Shanghai allows couples to have two babies, if both parents were only-children. Now the biggest deterrent is usually the perceived cost of raising two youngsters. Other couples can have a second child if they pay a fine of around 56,000 yuan. But that sum pales in comparison to the cost of raising an extra youngster. Shanghai people are different from much of the country when it comes to children. For example, they are more accepting of having daughters, in contrast to the traditional preference for sons. This is partly because of the perception that daughters do a better job of taking care of elderly parents. The newest sign of status in Shanghai isn't driving a foreign car or owning a luxury property. The best way to flaunt your wealth these days is to appear in public with two children, showing the world that you can afford to raise them. The Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission is forecasting 137,000 births next year, up from an estimated 131,000 this year. The commission had originally predicted 127,000 births this year, but increased its estimate because migrant workers were having more babies than expected. Shanghai's birth rate is expected to peak at 160,000 in 2015. But let's not be hasty: when, exactly, is that next Year of the Golden Pig?