Astrology | The Year of the Pig
What connects Chiang Kai-shek, Albert Schweitzer and Lee Kwan-Yew? No, it's not their wacky sense of humour, they were all born in one of the cyclical Years of the Pig. To find out previous pig years just keep subtracting 12 from 2007 and you will find that they have sometimes brought political upheaval in China: 1911 saw the overthrow of the Qing dynasty, while in 1971 Mao Zedong's comrade-in-arms and heir apparent Lin Biao died in mysterious circumstances. Recent pig years have been 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995 and 2007.
Those born in the Year of the Pig are said to be obliging, loyal and impartial, and to make peaceable and loving companions. The domestic pig itself occupies an important place in the life of Chinese farmers, so much so that the character for home jia shows a pig beneath a roof, presumably as all farmers kept pigs.
Pork is still the number one meat in China, so that in names of Chinese dishes the word rou, as well as meaning flesh in general, can often mean pork.
© Copyright Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding (SACU) 2001 by David Wright reprinted from SACU's magazine China Now 151, Page 16, 1995
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