New Series: Lucky Charms

General April 12, 2019 10:51 am

Whether at the driving test, on your first date or in the casino: Many people trust their lucky charms in difficult or exciting situations. Four-leaf cloverleaf, fly agaric or ladybug – everyone has their own personal favourite. In a loose series we will introduce you to the most common lucky charms in our blog and explain their origin. Today we start with: The lucky pig!

For thousands of years people and pigs have lived in coexistence. Depending on era and region, people attributed different meanings to their animal neighbours. In many places pigs have long been regarded as signs of fertility, strength and prosperity. The Germanic tribes already revered boars as sacred animals, the Greeks sacrificed pigs to the fertility goddess Demeter and the Germanic tribes like the Romans regarded pig owners as winners. One who possessed a pig could count on small costs for fodder with numerous piglets. Moreover, pigs are ready for slaughter after only two years which is why there was no need to fear hunger.

In the Middle Ages pigs were often presented as a consolation prize. But – as already explained – in the long run one profited from pigs. Also, on New Year’s Eve people used to give others live piglets as a gift. Today that’s not done any more – instead people distribute piglets made out of marzipan and wish the recipient he will always have enough to eat in the new year.

But be careful: not in all cultures and religions positive things are associated with pigs. While in Christianity the "Antonius pigs" were slaughtered on the day of Saint Anthony (17 January) and distributed to the poor, for Muslims pork is unclean, Jews are also not allowed to eat it.

By the way: there is a pig museum in Stuttgart with over 50,000 piglets in all shapes and colours. If you like, you can even celebrate your wedding in the adjoining inn. So nothing can go wrong in the relationship anymore…

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