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Happy Chinese New Year... It's the Year of the Pig !


Wellness insights from Acupuncture Center of NJ, providing holistic complementary mind-body-heart-healing since 1986, in Morristown, NJ!

Happy Chinese New Year... It's the Year of the Pig !

Peter Kadar

The year of the PIG officially begins on the Start of Spring Day, which was February 4, 2019 .  The Chinese new year day celebration is based on the new moon day of the first Chinese lunar month. The Chinese new year celebration is often called the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, referencing the beginning of springtime.

2019 heralds in the last of the twelve Chinese zodiac signs, the pig. In China, this is the year 4,716. The year of the pig is also known in some regions as the year of the boar (e.g. Tibet, Japan). The pig’s fixed five element sign is water and the pig is inherently a yin sign. However, each calendar year also corresponds to a specific five element designation. 2019 is the year of the earth pig, which is also referred to as the brown or yellow pig. 

This Chinese zodiac sign is associated with generosity, optimism, congeniality, and considerateness. The pig enjoys simplicity, the company of others, and cultivates friendships. The pig is said to have a pure heart and is honest. The pig’s credibility allows for bringing others together.

Pigs like to sleep and eat and do not conspire to harm others. Some might say the pig is lazy, while others say the pig simply enjoys the good things in life. The pig is greatly attracted to pleasure and loves entertainment. Pigs are said to bring affluence to others; the pig is a symbol of wealth. People born under the pig sign are said to share their every possession with you; however, they expect the same and will help themselves to all that is yours as well.

Pigs are hard-working, have great endurance, and possess great inner strength. They are gallant and have tremendous fortitude. The thick-skinned pig and is able to overlook minor transgressions and some interpret the pig as naïve for this very reason. Perhaps, it is because the pig loves the company others or because the pig is inherently calm and has great patience. The pig willingly overlooks minor betrayals for the sake of promoting friendships and universal harmony; however, the pig may become a powerful opponent if driven to extremes. Yes, the pig may be short-tempered at times, but prefers to let bygones be bygones. The pig is known for understanding.

Read more:

Chicken Soup with Ginseng, Angelica & Ginger
(Ren Shen, Dang Gui & Sheng Jiang)

This classic Chinese soup or stew is a very nutritious and therapeutic tonic to promote qi and blood, improve bodily functions and energy.  It’s very effective for preventing or recovering from flu or other infections and is a great winter stew to help keep you warm and promote strong digestion. Enjoy it as part of Year of the Pig Celebrations with delicious moon cakes!

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You can buy the ginseng, angelica and dates at Kam Man Market in East Hanover or any Chinese grocery store. 

Ingredients per serving:

Angelica (dang-gui) head 當歸頭- 5-10gram  (too much will give the soup a bitter taste)

Ginseng 人參 – 8gm  (or substitute Codonopsis ‘Dang Shen’)

Small Whole Chicken  (about 1 lb., use black-meat chicken for best effects)

Pitted red dates  紅棗 – 12 pieces

Fresh Ginger 生薑 – 2 slices


1.    Wash chicken, cut into halves, remove skin and fat and put in boiling water to rinse for a couple of minutes, retrieve and drain.

2.    Rinse herbs and dates.

3.    Boil the ginseng for 20 minutes and cut into slices.  Use ‘neutral’ Codonopsis ‘Dang Shen’ if you have heat signs and Ginseng is too warming for you.

4.    Put all ingredients in a casserole with enough hot water to cover the chicken and put on the cover.

5.    Place the casserole on a stainless steel cooling stand inside a pot or a wok with enough hot water at the bottom to reach up to the lower third of the casserole. Cover the pot or wok with lid.

6.    Place the pot or wok on medium-high heat and cook for 4 hours. Add boiling water to the cooking whenever necessary to maintain the cooking and prevent burning.

7.    Remove and add salt to serve. Drink soup mainly.


This recipe os best for prevention or recovery. If you are suffering with an active infection it’s best to get acupuncture and specific herbal remedies and wait until the symptoms are relieved before taking this stew.  Take regularly as a health tonic.


Bring the soup to a boil in a pot for about 10 minutes and transfer the cooking to a slow cooker and cook for 6 to 8 hours with high heat.

Let us know how you liked it and feel free to contact us for more healing seasonal recipes. Enjoy.

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