March 1: National Pig Day

Whether we grew up with piggy banks, eat bacon and ham, or have a pet pot-bellied pig for a pet, pigs are a part of our lives. On March 1, these snout-nosed creatures have their own day of honor.

National Pig Day started in 1972 by two sisters. Ellen Stanley was an art teacher in Texas and Mary Rave was from North Carolina. Rave said that the purpose of National Pig Day is to give “the pig it’s rightful, but generally unrecognized place as one of man’s most intellectual and domesticated animals.”

Many people think pigs are endearing. From A.A. Milne’s “Piglet” to E.B. White’s “Wilbur” to Dick King-Smith’s “Babe,” pigs have populated our favorite story books for generations. Pigs have served as therapy animals. They are considered one of the smarter animals. National Day Calendar offers the example of a trained swine called the Learned Pig who could tell time, count and other such tricks to entertain crowds in the streets of Dublin in 1772. There are an abundance of videos of trained pigs on Youtube, including several videos that provide instructions and demos.

Here in Nebraska, I found walkathons and barbecues (Ew!) in honor of Pig Day. Elsewhere, there are activities held at zoos, schools, nursing homes, and even sporting events. In addition, there have been pig parties, pig parades, and pig collectibles.

National Day Calendar also listed these trivia facts about National Pig Day:

  • There are celebrations across the state of Illinois, where pigs are a $1.9 industry.
  • In Central Park Zoo in New York City, In New York City, pot-bellied pigs are invited to visit the Central Park Zoo.
  • On Long Island, residents celebrate in a slightly different way. They honor the pig by refraining from eating it on Pig Day, and even provide special treats for pot-bellied pet pigs.
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