10分pk10精准计划app _Mug designer continues series with a unique piece to mark Year of the Pig

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Novelty m10分pk10精准计划app 10分pk10精准计划app ugs in the sh10分pk10精准计划app ape of a pig, created by American designer Jeff Dayu Shi. [Photo provided to China Daily]

People in many parts of China began receiving special gifts symbolizing good luck for Lunar New Year long before the Year of the Pig began on Feb 5.

A novelty mug in the shape of a pig, created by internationally renowned American designer Jeff Dayu Shi, is one such gift capturing attention.

The canopy mug is Shi's ninth release in the Chinese Zodiac mug series.

He designed his first mug for the Year of the Rabbit in 2010.

Since then, he has designed mugs for the Chinese zodiac years of the rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, monkey, goat, rooster, dog and pig.

It is said in the ancient Chinese book, Shuowen Jiezi, the first comprehensive dictionary of Chinese characters, compiled by Xu Shen during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220), that with a pig in the house, one can expect good fortune on all counts, Shi says.

For thousands of years, the pig has represented fortune and prosperity in Chinese culture.

"May there be a bumper harvest of the five grains; may the six domestic animals thrive" is a common saying used by people during Spring Festival to wish luck and wealth in the coming year.

The pig, the first of the six domestic animals, serves as an important symbol of prosperity and happiness in Chinese culture. And the Chinese affection for the pig can also be found in ancient Chinese literature, Shi says.

Marshal Canopy (also known as Zhu Bajie), a hero from the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West is part-human, part-pig creature.

Shi's latest mug in the form of a pig features a large belly that symbolizes "a bumper harvest of the five grains". And this lifelike pig sits upright on the table with its four hooves facing forward and its snout forming the mug lid.

The pig mug carries on its righthand side Marshal Canopy's weapon-a "nine-tooth iron muckrake". The handle of the rake is a straw made from natural bamboo, Shi says.

Also, on its chest the pig has a sycee, an ingot used for currency in ancient China, which represents wealth. And mug users can remove the tea leaves with ease by simply moving the sycee on the outside as it is attached to the infuser inside the mug, Shi says.

When placed sideways, the mug will "stand" on its four hooves; as the front two hooves are shorter, the mug tilts slightly forward and drains the liquid.

Shi, a longtime Beijing resident, was born in 1964 to parents who moved to Taiwan from the mainland in 1949.

At 21, he left Taiwan to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and later worked as a designer for the luxury jewelry company Harry Winston. In 1996, he won the De Beers Diamonds International Award, the equivalent of the Oscars for the jewelry world.

He was honored with the Red Dot Design Award for four years in a row, from 1009 to 2012, for designs that included the Twins Round/Square Teapot Set and the bamboo chairs Jun-Zi and Qin-Jian.

The Red Dot Design Award is seen as one of the top three design awards in the world.