Year of the pig? Is that because no one's buying turkey any more?This is Chinese astrology, mate, nothing to do with Bernard Matthews. The Year of the Pig – aka the Year of the Boar – is one of the most auspicious years in the Chinese zodiac, bringing fertility and virility to all.
Is this why they're selling Viagara at Boots now?That might be a coincidence. However I do know that the parties are already in full swing - so to speak - right across China.
What's the USP then? The Year of the Pig, which begins this Sunday, is special because it completes the cycle of animal years in the Chinese zodiac. But this year is an even bigger deal: it is not just a bog standard pig year but a golden pig year, the first in 60 or even 600, depending on which astrologer you consult. Some of them have made a pig's ear out of it instead of a pig's year.
Never mind that. What about this virility bit? Fire pig years are extra prosperous, extra lucky and meant to be a very good time to cast the old seed. Hospitals across China are bracing themselves for a surge of babies. Beijing alone could see 170,000 births this year, 50,000 more than in 2006.
Well pigs don't do much for me: Me neither, you swine! But in the East pigs are venerated and lead happy lives, unlike their counterparts in the West who are, sadly, often badly thought of and treated very poorly in comparison.
How do you know if you are a bit of a boar? I'll do the gags. You will have been born in 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983 or 1995. You will be honest straightforward, dependable and good at bringing home the bacon.
So how do I find the action? Get down to Chinatown, which has the oldest Chinese settlement in Europe this weekend for a cracker of a New Year's celebration, for the first time over two days. Starting at 12.30pm and running to 8pm there's t'ai chi, dancers, parades, 30ft dragons and unicorns, and a huge firework display to round things off. And, of course, a host of Chinese restaurants to keep all you food hogs going.
Chinese Year of the Pig: Nelson Street, Sat-Sun, 12.30pm-late.
Not to be confused with: Jade Goody's comeback campaign.
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