Noodle Pig Tea Pet

$30.00
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SKU:
10166
Weight:
84.00 Grams

Out of stock

Aside from being cute, round, and having four little stumpy feet underneath, this spherical hog has the elaborate folk character Biáng.svg "Biang", which is one of the most complex characters. What does it mean? Well, frankly, it's the onomatopoeia for the sound made by an uncooked noodle slapping against a table. We have no idea why it's featured on this little pig, but to our minds that just adds to the pig's charm and mystique. Pouring on this pig evokes the spirit of the Chinese Year of the Pig, including honesty, luck, abundance; in this case, it also evokes the slapping sound of noodles - not the sound itself, mind you, but the spirit of the sound. It also, by extension, evokes noodles, and Xi'an, ancient capital of China, and home of the eponymous Biang Biang Noodle.

Tea pets 茶寵 (Chá Chǒng) are small figurines, usually made of unglazed stoneware (such as the kind teapots are made from), in the shape of animals, people, gods, mythical beasts, plants, fungi - pretty much anything at all. Their sole purpose is to be a recipient of waste water and waste tea produced over the course of the tea service from heating and rinsing the wares and leaves. Over time, they develop a patina of tea oils the way that tea pots do. This process of "raising" as it is called allows them to develop a dark, shiny lustre, with each tea pet taking on its own look and personality over time with use. They also serve a votive function - the pouring of tea over the figure calls in the "spirit" of whatever that figure represents. A good tea pet looks best when in use - ie when enjoying a stream of hot tea being poured over it.