I feel a little bit sorry for the pig right now though because it seems that both in Chinese and Western culture we have a habit of putting a Pig on the menu for our New Year’s feast. They must be shaking in their trotters. Especially when they are known for being sweet natured and only want to live in peace.

The Year of the Pig comes at a difficult time in China – rural China is in the grip of a long feared catastrophe and facing one of the worst outbreaks of African Swine Fever ever. They have already had to cull nearly a million pigs, that must be a disaster for the farmers.

My daughter’s a Pig. According to the Chinese zodiac, the main characteristics for the Pig is that they are honest, kind and scrupulous. Very optimistic and tolerant. They can also on the flip side be somewhat naive, overconfident and too trusting by nature because they like to see the positive side in people and things and are good and walking in other people shoes, so consequently hugely compassionate. They therefore take a while to make decisions because they like to look at both sides and compromise, which can give them the reputation of being weak. But they have lots of courage and therefore don’t care because their overall aim is to believe in a better world. They are stable and calm and adapt easily to their environment. They are sociable and love being surrounded by people as well as being intelligent and eager to learn. They also love sensual pleasures, especially food (and being covered in mud!!). They can be stubborn and are very strong. They make great friends as they are gentle and sensitive people always willing to help or to make excuses for you even if you’ve behaved very badly indeed. They love to do good and take great trouble to be useful in life. But be careful, when they get angry, albeit rarely, they can be violent and destructive. “It is not advisable to waken a sleeping Pig.”

We had our celebratory Chinese New Year meal out on Day 1 of the Pig year on Tuesday the 5th February at our favourite Chinese restaurant in London – The Four Regions, in Kew which is always excellent quality.

My family team:-

Ruining the photo of the food:-

Not very happy with my fortune cookie message:-

But I’ve bought some chinese supplies, sour plums and the unfortunately named Haw Flakes and a whole box of fortune cookies that I will make my way through until I find a message I like:-


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