February 5, 2019 marks the start of the new lunar year; which is the Year of the Pig. Perhaps 2019 could also be considered the Year of the Nepenthes?
The Pig represents luck, overall good fortune, wealth, honesty, general prosperity in Chinese tradition.
Nepenthes are very popular and desirable plants during Lunar New Year celebrations. Their hanging pitchers resemble money bags and therefore are considered lucky.
The Chinese characters for Nepenthes are 猪笼草 or zhū lóng cǎo. Zhū lóng cǎo may be translated as Nepenthes, monkey cup or pitcher plant. Taken literally, Zhū is pig, lóng is basket and cǎo is plant (grass). So Zhū lóng cǎo is a pig basket plant. A pig basket is made of woven bamboo to transport a live pig. Their shape and form is similar to a Nepenthes pitcher. Everything “pig” is desirable during a Pig Year so Nepenthes are especially sought after this year. Nicely grown Nepenthes plants are found in the markets throughout China but especially in the south, where the Cantonese reside; in and around Guangzhou. They are proudly displayed in both the home and businesses throughout China.
As mentioned above, Nepenthes are traditionally desirable since their pitchers look like money bags. However the pitchers also take on additional symbolism since they hold water. Water in Chinese lore is money. In Feng Shui , water usually represents wealth and money luck. Another characteristic of a Nepenthes pitcher is that it holds water and does not allow it to escape. The pitcher therefore keeps and is storing wealth, an important Chinese goal! For all these reasons, Nepenthes are the most sought-after plant during this Year of the Pig.
Nepenthes with Many Pitchers:
Nepenthes with Huge Pitchers:
Gōng xǐ fā cái Wish you Wealth and Prosperity!