What Does the Pig Symbolize? Understanding the Significance of the Pig in Culture and Religion

Have you ever come across a pig in a movie or a book and wondered what its presence meant? The truth is, the pig symbolizes a lot of things in different cultures and contexts. It’s not just a farm animal; it holds a significant place in mythology and folklore, as well as literature and popular culture. From its association with gluttony and sloth in Christianity to its esteemed position in Chinese culture as a symbol of fortune, the pig has a diverse range of meanings.

Many people may associate the pig with the filthy and unclean; however, it’s essential to note that this animal is far more than that. In some cultures, it symbolizes abundance, prosperity, and fertility. Its role in the zodiac, for example, points to its connection to fortune and wealth. In the Western world, the pig is sometimes seen as a representation of the id or a creature that indulges in physical pleasures. But, in many other cultures, it signifies the ability to enjoy life and celebrate the simple things.

Overall, the pig holds much more significance than we may have initially thought. It’s a creature that evokes strong emotions and has different meanings depending on the context. Through a deeper understanding of its symbolism, we can gain insights into different cultures and their values. So, next time you see a pig, remember that it represents not just a farm animal, but a complex and fascinating symbol worth exploring.

Pig Symbolism in Different Cultures and Religions

The pig has been a symbol in different cultures and religions around the world for thousands of years. Some cultures and religions consider the pig as a sacred animal, while others see it as unclean or associated with negative characteristics.

  • Ancient Egypt: In Ancient Egypt, the pig was seen as a symbol of fertility and growth. The Egyptian goddess Isis was depicted with the head of a pig, and worshipped for her powers of fertility and motherhood.
  • Judaism: In Judaism, pigs are considered unclean and forbidden to eat according to the laws of kashrut. The pig’s association with impurity comes from the fact that it is a scavenger, known to eat whatever it can find.
  • Christianity: In Christianity, the pig is often associated with uncleanliness and sin. According to the New Testament, Jesus cast out demons from a man into a herd of pigs, causing them to jump off a cliff and drown, symbolizing the defeat of sin.
  • Islam: In Islam, pigs are considered unclean and are forbidden to eat, similar to the Jewish faith. Pigs are also associated with demons, and it is believed that Satan himself appears in the form of a pig to deceive believers.
  • China: In Chinese culture, pigs are considered a symbol of prosperity and good luck. The pig is the twelfth sign of the Chinese zodiac and is associated with wealth, happiness, and good fortune.

Pig Symbolism in Mythology

The pig has also played a significant role in mythology around the world.

In Greek mythology, the god Dionysus was accompanied by a group of pigs that were specifically bred for sacrifice. The Norse god Freyr also had a magical boar named Gullinbursti, which was believed to bring light to the world.

One of the most famous examples of pig symbolism in mythology is the story of the Three Little Pigs. The story has been popularized in many different cultures and teaches lessons about hard work, perseverance, and resourcefulness.

Pig Symbolism in Art and Literature

The pig has been a popular subject in art and literature throughout history.

One of the most famous examples is the painting “The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp” by Rembrandt, which depicts a group of men surrounding a pig carcass as a way of studying anatomy.

Artist/Author Work
George Orwell Animal Farm
Salvador Dali The Great Masturbator
David Lynch Twin Peaks

Other famous works that include pigs are George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” Salvador Dali’s “The Great Masturbator,” and David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks.”

Pig Symbolism in Chinese Zodiac

The pig is the twelfth animal in the Chinese zodiac. In the Chinese culture, pigs are often associated with wealth and good fortune, and they are believed to bring prosperity and luck to those born under the sign. The pig is also seen as a symbol of fertility, courage, and honesty. In this article, we will take a closer look at the pig symbolism in the Chinese zodiac, particularly its representation in the number 2 position.

Number 2: The Earthly Branch of the Pig

  • In the Chinese zodiac, each animal is associated with a different earthly branch. The pig is associated with the twelfth and final earthly branch, which is also called the Pig.
  • People who are born in the Year of the Pig (1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019) are said to possess the traits that are commonly associated with pigs.
  • According to Chinese astrology, people born in the Year of the Pig are kind, honest, and reliable. They are also known to be hard workers, and they are often successful in their careers.
  • In the Chinese culture, pigs are also associated with wealth and good fortune. People born in the Year of the Pig are believed to be lucky in both their personal and professional lives.

The Personality of the Pig

If you were born in the Year of the Pig, you are likely to possess the personality traits of the pig. People born in this year are often known for their kind and honest nature. They are also loyal and reliable, and they make good friends and partners. Furthermore, they are known to possess a good sense of humor and enjoy being in the company of others.

However, like all animal signs, the pig has its negative qualities as well. People born in the Year of the Pig can be lazy and overindulgent. They may also have a tendency to procrastinate and put off important tasks until the last minute.

The Pig in Chinese Astrology

The pig is often associated with wealth and prosperity in Chinese astrology. People born in the Year of the Pig are believed to enjoy a comfortable and prosperous life, as they are often successful in their careers and personal endeavors.

Furthermore, the pig is seen as a symbol of fertility. Women who are born in the Year of the Pig are believed to be particularly lucky in terms of fertility and having children.

If you are born in the Year of the Pig, you are also believed to be compatible with those born in the Years of the Rabbit and the Goat. However, you may have difficulties in relationships with those born in the Year of the Snake.

Positive Traits Negative Traits
Kind Lazy
Honest Overindulgent
Loyal Procrastinator

In summary, the pig is a symbol of wealth, prosperity, and fertility in Chinese astrology. People born in the Year of the Pig are believed to possess the positive traits of kindness, honesty, and reliability. However, they may also have negative qualities such as laziness and procrastination. Understanding the pig symbolism in the Chinese zodiac can help people gain insight into their own personalities and potential for success.

Pig Symbolism in Western Astrology

Western Astrology is a belief system that associates celestial objects with human personality traits and events. In this belief system, the pig symbolizes a combination of traits and energies influenced by the zodiac sign it represents. Pig symbolism in western astrology can be seen in various forms, including zodiac signs, constellation, and horoscopes.

Number 3: The Pig in the Zodiac

Each sign in western astrology is associated with a specific animal and set of personality traits that define an individual’s zodiac sign. The pig, also known as the boar, represents the twelfth zodiac sign of the western system and falls under the fire element. People born between February 5th and March 8th are associated with the pig zodiac sign.

The pig’s personality traits include kindness, tolerance, diligence, and generosity. These individuals have a strong sense of responsibility and are known for their social skills and friendly nature. They are loyal friends and are always willing to help others. The pig is also associated with luck and fortune, making them popular and well-liked by many.

On the flip side, the pig is also associated with stubbornness, naivety, and indecisiveness. They can be seen as lazy and unmotivated at times, making it hard for them to reach their full potential. The pig zodiac sign is also said to be sensitive and emotional, and their feelings can be easily hurt.

Positive Traits Negative Traits
Kindness Stubbornness
Tolerance Indecisiveness
Diligence Naivety
Generosity Laziness

Overall, the pig in the zodiac symbolizes a kind and generous individual who enjoys socializing and being around others. They are loyal friends and are known for their strong sense of responsibility. However, they can also be stubborn and indecisive, making it hard for them to reach their full potential.

Pig Symbolism in Literature

Throughout literary history, pigs have been used as symbols to represent a variety of concepts, from gluttony and greed to innocence and vulnerability. Pig symbolism is a common thread in literature and serves as a powerful tool for writers to convey complex themes and ideas.

The Number 4: Significance in Pig Symbolism

One recurring theme in pig symbolism is the number 4. In Chinese mythology, the pig is one of the 12 animals of the zodiac and is associated with the number 4. This is because the pig is considered to be the last animal in the zodiac cycle. In Ancient Chinese philosophy, the number 4 is often associated with death and endings.

In George Orwell’s classic novel “Animal Farm,” the character of Napoleon the pig represents a corrupt leader who ultimately leads to the downfall of the animal community. Interestingly, Napoleon is the fourth pig to lead the rebellion, further emphasizing the significance of the number 4 in pig symbolism.

The number 4 is also significant in religious symbolism, as it is associated with the four horsemen of the apocalypse in the book of Revelations. The horsemen are often interpreted to represent war, famine, pestilence, and death, all of which are related to the negative aspects of pig symbolism.

  • In Chinese mythology, the pig is associated with the number 4.
  • The character of Napoleon in Orwell’s “Animal Farm” is the fourth pig to lead the rebellion, emphasizing the significance of the number 4 in pig symbolism.
  • The number 4 is associated with the four horsemen of the apocalypse in religious symbolism, further emphasizing the negative aspects of pig symbolism.

The recurring significance of the number 4 in pig symbolism serves to emphasize the theme of death, endings, and negative aspects associated with pigs. This is reminiscent of the idea that pigs are commonly associated with filth, gluttony, and greed in literature. By using the number 4 to reinforce these negative themes, writers are able to demonstrate the full weight of the symbolism associated with pigs.

Pig Symbolism in Art: Number 5

In art, the number five is often associated with the five senses, which pigs are believed to embody. In many cultures, pigs are considered to possess heightened senses of smell, taste, touch, hearing, and sight. This association can be seen in various art forms, from paintings and sculptures to literature and music.

  • One of the most famous examples of this can be found in “The Three Little Pigs” fairy tale, where the titular characters each possess a different sense that they use to outsmart the big, bad wolf.
  • In the visual arts, the five senses are sometimes depicted using the image of a pig. For example, European artists in the Middle Ages often included a pig on a banquet table in their paintings to represent the sense of taste.
  • In some cultures, such as China and Vietnam, pigs are also associated with good luck and prosperity, which has led to their depiction in artwork as symbols of abundance and wealth.

Overall, the pig’s correlation with the five senses makes it a popular symbol in various artistic mediums, where it is often used to represent sensory experiences or abundance.

Pig Symbolism in Dreams: Number 6

If you keep seeing the number 6 in pig-related dreams, it could be a sign of harmony, balance, and stability. This number is believed to represent the principle of love, nurturing, and protection, which are all essential qualities of a good parent.

In numerology, the number 6 is associated with the planet Venus, which is known as the goddess of love and beauty. This planet is also linked to creativity, fertility, and emotional healing, all of which can inspire you to take better care of yourself and your loved ones.

If you are trying to start a family or repair a broken relationship, seeing the number 6 in your pig dreams could be a sign that you need to focus on creating a supportive and nurturing environment. This number can also inspire you to tap into your creative side and express your emotions in a healthy way.

Pig Symbolism in Dreams: List of Symbolism

  • Abundance and prosperity
  • Creativity and fertility
  • Nurturing and protection
  • Simplicity and innocence
  • Good luck and fortune

Pig Symbolism in Dreams: Personal Growth and Development

When pigs appear in your dreams, it could be a sign that you need to focus on your personal growth and development. Seeing a pig could be a reminder that you need to take care of your physical and emotional needs, make time for relaxation and self-care, and let go of any negative thoughts or emotions that may be holding you back.

This animal can also symbolize your potential for growth and transformation. Just like a pig can grow and change from a piglet to a full-grown adult, you too have the ability to evolve and become the best version of yourself. Use the pig as a totem or spirit animal to guide you on your journey of self-discovery and personal development.

Pig Symbolism in Dreams: Table of Interpretations

Dream Symbol Interpretation
Piglets New beginnings, innocence, and simplicity
Sow Fertility, motherhood, and nurturing
Boar Strength, power, and courage
Eating pork Abundance, prosperity, and material comfort
Running from pigs Avoidance of responsibility or fear of consequences

No matter what your dreams about pigs may mean, try to pay attention to your emotions and see how they connect to the symbolism of this animal. Remember that pigs can represent different things for different people, so trust your intuition and let your dreams guide you towards greater self-awareness and personal growth.

Pig Symbolism in Folklore: The significance of the Number 7

When it comes to pig symbolism in folklore and mythology, the number 7 holds a significant place. In many cultures, the number 7 represents perfection, completeness, and wholeness, which is why it’s often associated with the divine. The connection between the pig and the number 7 can be traced back to ancient Chinese mythology, where the pig was one of the twelve animals in the Zodiac, and the number 7 was considered lucky.

  • In Greek mythology, the goddess Demeter had seven piglets, which were born after her daughter was abducted by Hades, the god of the underworld. Demeter’s grief was so intense that she had no choice but to take on the form of a pig. Her transformation was symbolic of the cyclical nature of life and death, and the piglets represented the harvest, which is why Demeter is considered the goddess of agriculture and fertility.
  • In Norse mythology, Freyr, the god of fertility and prosperity, had a golden-bristled boar named Gullinbursti that could run through the air and water. Gullinbursti represented strength, fertility, and abundance and was believed to be a bringer of good fortune to the people of Asgard.
  • In Hindu mythology, Vishnu, the preserver of the universe, took on the form of a pig to rescue the earth goddess, who had been abducted by a demon. In this context, the pig symbolized selflessness and sacrifice, as Vishnu risked his life to save the goddess and restore balance and harmony to the universe.

The pig’s association with the number 7 is not limited to mythology and folklore. In the Christian tradition, the number 7 appears frequently in the Bible and is associated with spiritual perfection and completion. The Book of Leviticus prescribes the sacrifice of seven male lambs and one male pig on the Day of Atonement, which is regarded as the most important day in the Jewish calendar.

Overall, the pig’s symbolic association with the number 7 is a reflection of its significance in human culture and its connection to transcendence, abundance, and the divine. Whether viewed as a bringer of good fortune, a symbol of selflessness, or a representation of spiritual wholeness, the pig continues to fascinate and inspire us to this day.

Pig Symbolism in Native American mythology

Pigs appear as symbols in many Native American myths, representing various traits and characteristics. Here, we will take a closer look at the pig symbolism in Native American mythology and its meanings.

The Number 8

In some Native American mythologies, the pig and the number 8 are closely associated with each other. The number 8 has a great significance in Native American culture, often appearing in religious ceremonies, mythological tales, and daily life activities. It is a powerful number that represents regeneration and new beginnings, as it resembles the shape of infinity.

The pig, on the other hand, is associated with fertility, abundance, and wealth. In some Native American cultures, the pig is believed to have the power to bring wealth and prosperity into the community. Therefore, the combination of the pig and the number 8 is seen as a potent symbol of abundance, growth, and prosperity.

  • In the Hopi tradition, the number 8 symbolizes the four cardinal directions and the four intercardinal directions, representing the whole universe. The pig is seen as a being that can traverse all directions, making it a symbol of prosperity and abundance spread throughout the universe.
  • The Chowtaw people believe that the pig symbolizes wealth and abundance, and the number 8 represents the four directions and their spirits, along with the four forms of water. Therefore, they believe that the pig and the number 8 combination can bring the water and the wealth to the community.
  • In the Ojibwe culture, the pig and the number 8 are part of the Seven Grandfather Teachings, representing the seventh teaching of love. The pig is seen as a symbol of communal love and sharing of resources, while the number eight represents the ongoing growth and regeneration of love in the community.
Native American Culture Pig Symbolism Number 8 Symbolism Combined Symbolism
Hopi Abundance and prosperity spread throughout the universe. Symbolizes the whole universe with its cardinal and intercardinal directions. Can bring wealth and prosperity throughout the universe.
Chowtaw Wealth and abundance. Represents the four directions and four forms of water. Brings water and wealth to the community.
Ojibwe Communal love and sharing of resources. Symbolizes the ongoing growth and regeneration of love in the community. Symbol of ongoing growth and regeneration of communal love and resources.

The pig and number 8 combination symbolize the shared values of prosperity, abundance, and growth in Native American cultures. It is a powerful symbol that represents the generosity of the community and the importance of working together for a common goal.

Pig Symbolism in Christianity: The Number 9

In the Christian belief system, the number nine is associated with completion and spiritual fulfillment. This is because there are nine fruits of the Holy Spirit, which include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The pig, as a symbol of abundance and prosperity, is often associated with these fruits, as it is seen as a provider of sustenance and nourishment to those who raise and care for it.

  • The number nine is mentioned in various Biblical texts, including the Nine Gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, and the Nine Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12.
  • According to Christian numerology, the number nine also represents divine completeness and the finality of judgement, as seen in the Nine Plagues on Egypt in Exodus 7-11.
  • In Christian art, the pig is sometimes depicted alongside the nine fruits of the Spirit, symbolizing the abundance and provision that comes as a result of spiritual fulfillment.

The connection between the pig and the number nine in Christianity underscores the idea that material prosperity is ultimately linked to spiritual fulfillment. The pig is a reminder that abundance comes not just from physical wealth, but from a profound sense of spiritual completeness and the fruits of the Spirit.

Overall, the symbolism of the pig in Christianity is rich and multifaceted, pointing to themes of abundance, sustenance, and spiritual fulfillment. By exploring the various associations and meanings attached to this animal, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the ways in which religious symbols and motifs continue to resonate with people across cultures and time periods.


  • GotQuestions.org. (n.d). What is the biblical significance of the number seven/7?
  • Nelson, J. D. (2006). The Complete Guide to Symbols, Signs, and Symbols of the Bible. Thomas Nelson Inc.
  • SpiritualRay.com. (n.d). What Does the Number 9 (Nine) Mean in the Bible?

Pig Symbolism in Hinduism: The Number 10

In Hinduism, the pig is considered as an embodiment of the Hindu god, Vishnu. One of the interesting things about the pig symbol in Hinduism is its association with the number 10. In Hinduism, the number 10 is considered a sacred number and represents the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu. The ten avatars are believed to represent the evolution of the universe and the journey of every soul towards enlightenment.

  • The first avatar is Matsya, the fish
  • The second avatar is Kurma, the turtle
  • The third avatar is Varaha, the boar
  • The fourth avatar is Narasimha, the half-lion, half-man
  • The fifth avatar is Vamana, the dwarf
  • The sixth avatar is Parashurama, the warrior
  • The seventh avatar is Lord Rama, the king
  • The eighth avatar is Lord Krishna, the teacher
  • The ninth avatar is Buddha, the preacher
  • The tenth avatar is Kalki, the destroyer

As you can see, the third avatar of Lord Vishnu is Varaha, the boar. This is where the pig symbol comes into play, as Varaha is often depicted as a pig-headed god. The pig symbol thus represents the third avatar of Lord Vishnu and the number 10, which is considered a sacred number in Hinduism.

Another interesting thing about the pig symbolism in Hinduism is its association with wealth and abundance. In Hinduism, the pig is considered a symbol of wealth and abundance, as it is believed that the pig has the ability to find hidden treasures buried underground. This is why people often keep piggy banks in their homes or businesses to attract wealth and abundance.

Pig Symbolism in Hinduism Meaning
The number 10 Represents the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu
The third avatar of Vishnu (Varaha) Often depicted as a pig-headed god
Wealth and abundance The pig is believed to find hidden treasures underground

In conclusion, the pig symbol has a significant meaning in Hinduism, particularly its association with the number 10 and wealth. It is fascinating to see how different cultures and religions interpret the symbolism of animals, and how they have embedded these symbols into their beliefs and practices.

What Does the Pig Symbolize FAQs

1. What does a pig symbolize in different cultures?

In many cultures, pigs symbolize abundance, fertility, and prosperity. In some cultures, like China, pigs are seen as a sign of good luck and wealth. On the other hand, in some Islamic cultures, they are viewed as unclean animals and are prohibited from being consumed.

2. Why is the pig associated with food and eating?

Pigs are often associated with food and eating because they are commonly raised for their meat. Also, pigs have a reputation for being voracious eaters and can consume large amounts of food at once.

3. What do pigs symbolize in dreams?

In dreams, pigs can symbolize a variety of things such as wealth, prosperity, good luck, or even greed. The meaning behind the symbol depends on the context of the dream and the personal associations the dreamer has with the image of a pig.

4. Do pigs symbolize anything negative?

In some cultures, pigs are associated with negative qualities such as greed, laziness, and dirtiness. However, these negative connotations are not universal and may be influenced by cultural or personal beliefs.

5. How are pigs used as symbols in literature and art?

Pigs have been used as symbols in literature and art for centuries. They can represent a variety of things including indulgence, gluttony, and the excesses of society. In George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” pigs represent the corrupt leaders who abuse their power.

6. What is the significance of pigs in Native American cultures?

Pigs were not originally native to North America, but after their introduction by Europeans, they quickly became important to Native American cultures for their meat and hides. Some tribes even incorporated pigs into their religious practices, using them as sacrificial animals.

7. How do pigs symbolize transformation?

Pigs have a unique ability to transform waste and food scraps into fertilizer and meat. This transformative quality is often associated with renewal, regeneration, and transformation, making pigs a powerful symbol of change and growth.

Closing: Thanks for Taking a Closer Look at What the Pig Symbolizes

In summary, pigs hold a significant place in cultures around the world, representing everything from abundance and prosperity to greed and corruption. They are often used in literature and art to convey complex ideas and themes. Whether seen as positive or negative symbols, pigs have played a role in human history and imagination for thousands of years. Thanks for reading about what the pig symbolizes, and please come back soon for more interesting insights into the world of symbols and meaning.