Whimsical Children's Gifts
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In about the fifteenth century, during the Middle Ages, house wares were seldom made from metal, since it was very expensive. Instead, an economical orange-colored clay called "pygg" was used for making crocks, dishes and pots. Homes often had one jar referred to as the "pygg" bank or the piggy bank, because anytime there was extra money, it was put into this jar. Later on in the nineteenth century, people had forgotten that "pygg" referred to the clay money pots. When an English potter was asked to make a "pygg" bank he made a pot in the shape of a pig.
In early Western society the pig was a poor man's savings. In the springtime, a man could buy a piglet and feed it food scraps all year. Then in the fall it would be ready for butchering to provide food for the family throughout the winter.
In German speaking countries pigs are said to bring good luck. It was customary to give young apprentices a pig for a years' work. "Sparschweinchen" (lucky pigs) are typical New-Years Gifts.
The ancient Chinese have admired the wild boar for its strength, speed and ferocity. Its traits were often used to characterize people and sometimes governments. The wild boar was eventually domesticated and evolved into what we know today as the pig. It became a symbol for prosperity and wealth because of its reproductive powers and rapid growth. It provided meat and countless by-products, many with great therapeutic values. Pigs were also thought to be efficient guardians of children. The Chinese have given their children pig-shaped banks, for centuries, to establish and nurture money saving skills.
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