Pigs as a Lucky Symbol
Many people associate pigs with being unclean, but it is a fact that the pig is a lucky symbol in many cultures. As this is a site about good luck symbols, our focus will be more on the positive symbolism of the pig.
The pig is a symbol of prosperity, fertility and lots of good luck. Swine farmers were known to always have food. Keeping pigs was a sure way of insuring your family’s well-being.
As the old Irish saying goes; “The pig is the gentleman who pays the rent”.
In Germany they say “Glücksschwein”, which translates to lucky pig.
Pig decorations and illustrations on good luck and best wishes cards are common in Germany. This is especially true around New Year.
Candy in shapes of pigs symbolizes wishes of prosperity and luck. Marzipan pigs are sold in the thousands every December in Northern Europe.
In Norwegian the term “heldiggris” is very common. It literally translates to “lucky pig”.
The term is purely positive manner meaning “Wow, you are lucky”. In Swedish it is “tur gris” and in Danish it is “heldig gris”. In Iceland they say “heppinn svín”.
Pigs as a Wealth Symbol
Pigs are associated with wealth. Many wear small pig charms to attract money and good luck. Pigs have a history of insuring a family’s finances. Pig charms remain popular to this day.
The piggybank is a worldwide symbol of money. Feeding our piggybank with coins is an undisputable sign that we are caring for our financial future.
Piggybanks are thought to protect and attract money.
The Pig in the Chinese Zodiac
The pig was the final animal to arrive to the feast of the Jade Emperor and thereby secured a place in the zodiac. Each year is connected to an element; wood, fire, earth, metal and water.
In very general terms the pig is told to be sociable, popular, passionate and reliable. They may be quick tempered. It is a Yin sign.
The year of the pig comes every twelve years:
Feb 4, 1935 – Jan 23, 1936 (wood)
Jan 22, 1947 – Feb 9, 1948 (fire)
Feb 8, 1959 – Jan 27, 1960 (earth)
Jan 27, 1971 – Feb 14, 1972 (metal)
Feb 13, 1983 – Feb 1, 1984 (water)
Jan 31, 1995 – Feb 18, 1996 (wood)
Feb 18, 2007 – Feb 6, 2008 (fire)
Feb 5, 2019 – Jan 24, 2020 (earth)
Jan 23, 2031 – Feb 10, 2032 (metal)
Feb 10, 2043 – Jan 29, 2044 (water)
The Pig in Norse Mythology
Freyr was one of the principle gods in Norse mythology. He was the very handsome and kind god associated with the light and the sun. Freyr was a fertility god and also a god of prosperity and peace. His twin sister was Freyja, the goddess of sorcery, love, lust, beauty, and death.
The boar named Gullinbursti belonged to Freyr. This was no ordinary pig; this boar could easily and smoothly fly across the sky as well as over great oceans.
Freyr loved to travel on the back of Gullinbursti.
Another famous pig in Norse myth is named Saehrimnir. This magical boar was slaughtered every evening in Valhalla and served to all the Vikings who resided there after their death in the human world.
Any Viking who died in battle was secured a place in Valhalla. All day long they spent fighting and every evening there was a huge feast. If any Viking was unfortunate enough to “die” during these fights not to worry; they all came back to “life” again in time for the feast.
The same boar, Saehrimnir is served every day. The reason this was possible is that the Vikings believed Saehrimnir was restored back to life every morning.
Lord Vishnu as a Boar
Vishnu, the Hindu god of protection and preservation has ten well known avatars. They are as follows; Matsya, the Fish – Kurma, the turtle – Varaha, the boar – Narasimha, the man-lion – Vamana, the dwarf – Parsuram –Lord Rama – Lord Krishna – The Buddha and finally he will be reincarnated as the Kalki (believers are still waiting for this to happen).
In his third reincarnation Vishnu was the boar who came on a very important mission. An evil demon named Hiranyaksha had pulled Mother Earth to the bottom of the ocean.
Vishnu, as the boar Varaha came to the rescue. After a long and fierce fight with Hiranyaksha he killed the demon.
Varaha (Lord Vishnu) then lifted the Earth up from the ocean and back in place. The Earth was saved and life could continue.
“I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.” Winston Churchill, 1874-1965
“Believe each day that has dawned is your last. Some hour to which you have not been looking forward will prove lovely. As for me, if you want a good laugh, you will come and find me fat and sleek, in excellent condition, one of Epicurus’s herds of pigs.” Horus, Roman poet 65 BC
The Pig got up and slowly walked away – song from 1933
“One evening in October, when I was one-third sober,
An’ taking home a “load” with manly pride;
My poor feet began to stutter, so I lay down in the gutter,
And a pig came up an’ lay down by my side;
Then we sang “It’s all fair weather when good fellows get together”,
Till a lady passing by was heard to say:
“You can tell a man who “boozes” by the company he chooses’
And the pig got up and slowly walked away.” Benjamin Hapgood Burt, American songwriter – 1880-1950