No pork in the Year of Pig?

January 22, 2019 18:30
As people prepare to usher in the Lunar New Year, a swine flu outbreak in China is reminding people about the issue of meat safety. Photo: AFP

If you are one of those who are planning a pork-laden meal to welcome the Year of the Pig, you could be in for some disappointment.

There are reports that fresh pork suppliers might suspend slaughtering of pigs in the first three days of the Chinese Lunar New Year as concerns grow over the African swine epidemic in the mainland.

Pork Traders General Association of Hong Kong director Hui Wai-kin has been quoted as saying that local slaughter houses would take the first three days off in the Lunar New Year for cleaning and maintenance work.

People can buy raw pork on New Year's Eve and stock up the meat for the second day of the New Year, the first family gathering meal of the year, he suggested.

Well, the diligent pig industry workers look set to have a three-day break, something they could only dream about in previous years during the festive season.

A light meal without pork should be no problem for most Hong Kong people, many of whom will anyway have a vegetarian meal to celebrate the first day of the year.

Given the current worries about potential spread of the swine flu virus to Hong Kong, it is perhaps a good time to remind ourselves about the importance of food safety and health.

The Year of Pig may sound ominous to some, yet that doesn't mean we can't look forward to many joys.    

Funny pigs will be all around us in the New Year. Also, enjoy pig-nose displays in the spectacular fireworks show over the Victoria Harbour on Feb. 6.

The multi-million-dollar extravaganza should prove enough of a compensation for those who are opting to stay in the city, rather than travel, during the long holiday.

As for mainland tourists, we can only imagine their squeals of delight.

Some pigs are luckier. Take a look at Peppa Pig, whose five-minute trailer has become a sensation in China.

The lovely British cartoon character has warmed the hearts of hundreds of millions of Chinese, as it tells the story of an old Chinese man living in remote mountains who is looking to bring a present called “Peppa” to his grandson.

We might not have pork, but we have "Peppa celebrates Chinese New Year" to lift our hearts.

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EJ Insight writer