My 1st Blog post – Year of the Pig.

My 1st Blog post – Year of the Pig.

I’ve wanted to do a blog for a while but I’ve always been busy. But people say you can always make time if your committed enough so….here I am. New Year new chances to learn discipline and time management.

Well last Tuesday it was the beginning of 猪年 Year of the Pig. Most people have heard of the Chinese zodiac but I would like to tell the story in which it came from. However there are some differing small details for the story, I will explain one version. 玉帝 The Jade Emperor who is the ruler of heavens wanted to find a way to measure time. His solution was the Great race in which 12 animals competed to cross the river. The order they cross is the order they appear on the Chinese Zodiac.

1: Rat
2: Ox
3: Tiger
4: Rabbit
5: Dragon
6: Snake
7: Horse
8: Sheep
9: Monkey
10: Rooster
11: Dog
12: Pig

The rat got up early to get a head start but knew it would have problems crossing. The rat came across the Ox, tiger and the horse. He asked for help and only the Ox with it’s kind heart accepted. The rat rode on the Ox across the river and jumped off at the end to cunningly secure first place, with the Ox coming second. The Tiger came in 3rd with the Rabbit hoping across stones for 4th place. Strangely the Dragon could have gotten 1st place by flying but wanted to help other animals along the way. Snake came in just before the horse, startling it.

Sheep, Monkey and Rooster worked together by wading through the weeds on a raft. When they reached the other side, they all decided to give 8th place to the Sheep for being comforting. Then it was Monkey for 9th and then Rooster for 10th, while dog took it’s time playing in the water. Last place went to the Pig who came last because it got hungry and slept after eating.

People born on 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007 are most likely Pigs whose personality trait is said to be sluggish. This fits with the story however Pigs are also warm hearted, gentle, loyal and well tempered.

Pigs were very important in ancient China. The chinese character for Home 家 has the character for pig in it. Pigs were kept in houses for safety and symbolises a bountiful home.

Usually the global New Years is celebrated on the Eve running into New Years day. With Chinese New Year however it is celebrated on the new moon which then lasts for 15 days until the next full moon. This is an important holiday and many businesses close so workers can go see their families. I been told by someone who stayed in Shanghai during this time that the only place they found open to eat was KFC!

As most of the population is travelling around the same time it causes a lot of delays on roads, air and rail. If your in a Country around this time of year that celebrates Chinese New Year, try not to travel and stock up on items.

As this festival is celebrated for 15 days, we have a promotion until the 20th of this month. Pork slices and pork balls are 2.88 while our New Year Set is 13.88. Why the 88’s, I’ll explain in another post.

新年快乐! Happy New Year!

Photo credit:
unsplash-logoAndrew Haimerl

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