Kurt Tong, US Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau, and his wife Mika Marumoto Photo: US Consulate General to Hong Kong and Macau

Welcome to festive China, where one-fifth of the world’s population are celebrating the first day of the Year of Pig, and the phrase of the week is “Kung Hei Fat Choy” (wishing you prosperity).

The United States is even getting in on the goodwill act. US ambassador Branstad and his wife made Chinese dumplings and wrote the Chinese character pronounced “Fuk” (meaning fortune) to celebrate the Year of the Pig.

Branstad said that this year marked the Sino-American relationship’s 40th anniversary. Over that time it has made unimaginable achievements, and the United States hopes that there will be more of the same in the coming 40 years.

Kurt Tong, US Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau, along with his wife Mika Marumoto made a video in Cantonese in which they talked about the Year of the “Earth Pig”, which happens every 60 years. The couple took out an old VHS tape and replayed the history of previous years of the earth pig in 1899 and 1959, and wished Hong Kong people a happy and prosperous Year of the Pig.

However, according to Hong Kong feng shui master Raymond Lo Hang-lap, the Year of Earth pig may not be a good year as it means “instability”. He told Deutsche Presse Agentur in a recent interview that there were fatal earthquakes in Russia, the US, Taiwan and New Zealand in 1959 and a bad blizzard in the US in 1899. He added that the year of the earth pig is also known for political instability, citing the Tibetan uprising and the Vietnam war in 1959.

The British embassy in China also came up with a creative way to celebrate. In a short video the embassy borrowed Peppa Pig, China’s most popular cartoon character, who traveled to different cities such as Beijing, Guangzhou and Chongqing to sample their cuisines and speak in their dialects for the spring festival.

Martin Badham, Vice Consul of the British consulate general in Hong Kong, also showed off his Cantonese in a video published on Facebook over the weekend. He went to Pottinger Street in Central to buy festive goods for his first Lunar New Year in Hong Kong.

In a short video, the Russian consulate showed off its calligraphy skills by rendering the word pig in such a way that embedded the words “family” and “prosperity” that the Chinese value so highly.


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