Harmony and Good Harvest: Celebrating the Spring Festival in the Year of Pig
January 29, 2019 - March 17, 2019 Time: 9:00 - 17:00 (closed on Mondays) Venue: Waterscape Courtyard
——Exhibition Overview——

II. Favorable Weather and Good Harvest


About ten thousand years ago, humans underwent a transition from a migratory lifestyle to a settled existence. From then on, the focus was on farming activities. The growth of crops depended on natural conditions, such as topography, soil quality, heat, light, and water. Sufficient rainfall was critical to agricultural production. Through observation, ancient people found that certain habits of pigs were closely related to rain. From the biological properties, pigs' sweat glands are underdeveloped, so they often use water or mud to relieve the internal heat during hot weather, especially during the muggy period before the summer rains. Ancient Chinese people called this phenomenon a"swine bath". According to the remarks appended to lines in The Book of Changes, once, a wedding procession encountered swine covered with mud, and then it rained. A line in The Book of Songs says"There are swine, with their legs white, all wading through streams. The moon also is in the Hyades, which will bring greater rain." There was also a documented method of predicting rainfall by observing the shape of dark clouds, which was colloquially called"Black swine crossing a river". As recorded in the Oracle Bone Inscriptions, swine and sheep were used as sacrifices to the clouds. In the ancient rain-praying ceremony, swine were often used as the token to communicate with the gods. Ancient Chinese people, through observing heaven and earth and combining the relevant phenomena with astronomy, horoscopy and divination, endowed swine with specific symbolic meaning - hai (亥,last of the Twelve Earthly Branches), the direction of north, the color of black, the kan position (corresponding to"water") in the Eight Trigrams. From the Jade Pig Loong of the Neolithic Age to the Thunder God portrayed as a figure with a pig's head and a snake's body, and from the incarnation of the River God to the celestial being"Marshal Tianpeng", the image of pig gradually became abstracted and sublimated, endowed with magical power to control rain, and bearing people's aspirations for favorable weather and a good harvest.


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——Exhibition Objects——
year of pig 19
year of pig 18
year of pig 16
year of pig 17
year of pig 15
year of pig 14
year of pig 13
year of pig 12
year of pig 22
year of pig 21
year of pig 11
year of pig 10
year of pig 9
year of pig 20
year of pig 8
year of pig 7
year of pig 6
year of pig 5
year of pig 4
year of pig 3
year of pig 2
year of pig 1
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