Pig in the Chinese culture

Throughout history, a pig has been seen as a symbol of force, prosperity, and wellbeing. Different kind of pigs also symbolize money and wealth, which can nowadays be seen in the ”piggybanks”. In China pig is an essential part of the culture, especially in zodiacs but also in other areas. The Chinese character for ”home” 家 jia is a good example as the top part of the character means roof and bottom part means pig. The character symbolizes that home, especially in the countryside, wasn’t a real home without pigs. According to some tails, the most superstition farmers would even protect their newborn babies from demons by placing slippers that were made out of pig’s snouts into their feet. In China pig under a roof can create happiness and protection.

The familiar tamed pig is also closely related to wild boar in Chinese culture. Wild boar brings its own strong features to the pig symbolics and whereas tamed pig symbolizes wealth and wellbeing, wild boar symbolizes those strengths that can help in achieving those merits. Wild boar is a ruthless and powerful hunter which symbolizes determination and ambition that can help in achieving personal goals. However, this ambition doesn’t represent selfishness or self-righteousness as pig also represents goodheartedness and placing others before yourself.

Pig can also be found in an old Chinese literature classic called Xiyouji (literally ”Journey to the West”). In the story, a pig named Zhu Bajie is one of the helpers that assisted a Buddhist monk to travel from China to India and back. In the book, Zhu Bajie is banished from the heaven back to earth but through many incidents, he ends up being half human and half pig. The story plays with the symbolics of the pig so that it’s extremely lazy, a bit greedy and very fond of beautiful ladies. However, in China Zhu Bajie is seen as a nice and sympathetic character.

Pig in the Chinese zodiac

In the Chinese zodiac, the pig is also very lazy and fond of pleasures. He has a sincere soul and honest nature. Pig is very social and cares a lot about other people. That’s why pig likes to pamper himself and his relatives. Pig wants to enjoy life to its fullest and doesn’t want to waste any time with unnecessary conflicts. In some cases, the pig is ready to forget the wrongdoings of other people to have peace.

Even though pig gets unhappy when he is lonely, he might seem shy at first. As an intelligent creature pig enjoys reading and learning new things. Pig is more practical than emotional and he can survive well as an entrepreneur, even though making decisions can sometimes be though. Pig is also interested in arts and can find an artistic career fulfilling. According to Asian belief, pig’s biggest fear is getting eaten by someone and that’s why he finds it hard to trust others. Even though pig has a pleasant nature, he can turn hostile when feeling anxious. Pig doesn’t want to rely on others but wants to figure out his own problems himself.

Pig years in the Chinese Lunar calendar



Pig in the Chinese culture

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Pig in the Chinese culture

Pig in the Chinese culture

Throughout history, a pig has been seen as a symbol of force, prosperity, and wellbeing. Different kind of pigs also [...]

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Chinese New Year Celebration brings life and color to wintery Helsinki. Bright lanterns, Chinese new year delicacies, dragons and lions together with talented performing artists from Beijing, create an unique festive atmosphere. The event is co-hosted by the cities of Helsinki and Beijing.


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