Lunar New Year 2019—commonly referred to as Chinese New Year—begins on February 5. We are entering the Year of the Pig, the last animal in the 12-year Chinese calendar cycle. Characteristics of the pig include luck, wealth, honesty, generosity and trustworthiness.
The Chinese calendar also follows a cycle of five natural elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water), and this year marks the return of the Earth Pig. Characteristics of the Earth Pig include patience, thoughtfulness, practicality, hard work and stability.
Chinese New Year, part of the Spring Festival in modern China, is a prominent and widely celebrated holiday. Chinese New Year’s Eve is an occasion for families to gather for the annual reunion dinner, which is considered the most important meal of the year.
In the 2016 census, nearly 1.8 million Canadians reported having Chinese ancestry, which forms the single largest non-European ethnic group in the country. Of those 1.8 million, more than 150,000 reside in Alberta, composing nearly five per cent of our total population.
China is the destination for a large amount of Canadian pork exports. In China, Japan and Korea, there is an incredible appetite for our high-quality product. The average person in China consumes 41 kg (90 lbs.) of pork per year, compared to just over 23 kg (50 lbs.) for the average person in Canada. While in North America pork consumption has leveled off in recent years, across Asia, it’s growing. This has translated into a lucrative aspect of trade that benefits everyone in the pork supply chain.
Alberta Pork wishes everyone peace, prosperity and good health on this Lunar New Year! Thank you for being an important part of why we continue to raise pigs.