Piggy-themed Chinese New Year decorations
can already be found all over Hong Kong!
Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie -- the latter with
a pig in hand -- on Causeway Bay's Fashion Walk :D
A Massachusetts-based friend posted a photo on Facebook a week ago that featured a Christmas tree that was still standing after all 12 days of Christmas had long passed. Meanwhile in Hong Kong, Christmas decorations already started making way for Chinese New Year ones as far back as a fortnight ago.
And because the upcoming Chinese New Year is that of the pig, this year's Chinese New Year decorations tend to be pig-themed -- at least in places like Hong Kong. Despite there being no pig image ban in place in Malaysia though, pig-themed Chinese New Year decorations are reportedly thin on the ground in that Muslim-majority country this year.
Maybe it's because I lived in Malaysia's one ethnic Chinese majority state when I was a child -- or maybe it was due to that now past time having been a more liberal one -- but I remember having seen quite a few porcine-themed decorations for Chinese New Year(s) of the pig when I was growing up in Penang. In addition, my impression back then was the prejudice that people had about pigs wasn't as strong as that of the mouse or rat (which also is one of the animals of the Chinese zodiac)!
As a matter of fact, while I can't recall Chinese New Year decorations meeting with much controversy in previous pig years, I remember many people being loathe to have rat or mouse-themed decorations adorning their house, store or other business premises when the rat year came along: that is, until some bright spark decided to co-opt Mickey Mouse into helping celebrate Chinese New Year! (And for those who're wondering: there is no distinction between rats and mice in the various Chinese dialects. Put another way: the same word is used for both these creatures that are quite distinct to English speakers!)
With McDull being a beloved local character, I wouldn't be surprised to see the porcine cartoon character pop up all over Hong Kong in the next few weeks the way that it (and its cousin, McMug) did the last time the year of the pig came along. Thus far though, I've only see a whole host of Chinese New Year decorations featuring pigs that resemble McMug without actually being McMug. Oh, and -- while walking around in Causeway Bay last night -- statues of Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie with a pig in one hand and a Chinese New Year greeting in the other for some reason! ;b