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2019: The ‘Year of the Pig’ in China

Walk on streets in China and you’ll see chubby pigs everywhere announcing big offers. Be it on the famous Chinese liquor bottles, T-shirts or supermarkets, the happy faces of pigs would surely grab your attention.  

Why is the Pig so popular! 

The Chinese New Year is a Chinese festival usually known as the spring festival. Each New Year is characterized by one of 12 animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac and its’ the year of the pig after 12 years. The festival is to be held on February 5. 

The years allocated to each animal are in a very specific order. According to an ancient Chinese folk story, the Jade Emperor had called 13 animals to a meeting and announced that the years on the calendar would be named according to the order they arrived in, leading to 'The Great Race'. It’s believed that the rat travelled on the back of the ox, leaping from its back to nab first place. The pig stopped for a snack and a nap and arrived last; a cat was also in the race but drowned during the competition, leading to their only being 12 animals in the zodiac. 

Pigs in China, are known to bring good fortune. 

In an opinion piece in a daily, Harish Bhat, The Brand Custodian, Tata Sons mentions how amazed he was to see pigs almost everywhere. He was intrigued to read in a local newspaper about two special postage stamps being released by the Chinese Government bearing images of cute pigs. One stamp states “Plump pig brings good fortune”, and the other features a gathering of five pigs representing the five fortunes of longevity, affluence, health, benevolence and peace, in Chinese culture. 

The pig is being celebrated not just in Beijing and Shanghai, but also in many parts of the western world. Due to the increasing influence of China on the global map, Chinese New Year shall soon be a global festival. And for the same reason, the good fortune pigs and their cute faces shall be popular across the globe. 

Be it Nike or Gucci, the brands have been upfront to monetize on selling ‘products with pigs’ as ‘products with fortune.’ Alibaba, China’s big online retailer, features more than 1,200 Chinese “Year of the pig” merchandise. Books or stationary, artworks or shoes, the pig is spreading smiles from all around. 

Culturally pigs are considered very lucky creatures at birth. They are always well fed and allowed their ways. Going by the belief, lets’ hope that the upcoming ‘Pig Year’ shall be a year of overall good fortune for all. 



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