By MARY TOBIA
Hurray. Today is National Pig Day. (What'da you mean you didn't know?)
This event is held here in the United States on March 1 to celebrate the pig.
This annual holiday event was started in 1972 by two sisters, Ellen Stanley, a teacher from Texas, and Mary Lynne Rave of North Carolina. There is no evidence that this is a true "national" day, which would require an act of congress.
The purpose of this day is to recognize and give thanks to domesticated pigs. Pigs are clever and intelligent animals. They are one of the smartest animals coming in fourth place behind first place chimpanzees, second place dolphins and third place elephants. They can be taught to do tricks and make great house pets.
This holiday is mostly celebrated in the Midwest. Pig parties would include serving pink punch and pork delicacies. Pink ribbon pigtails would be tied around trees in pigs' honor.
I could never really figure out if this was a time to celebrate their intelligence or to appreciate their offerings like spare ribs, bacon and ham?
Today is not to be mixed up with Yellow Pig Day which is held July 17, which is more to do with studying mathematics than actual pigs.
Nor is today to be confused with National Pig Out Day which is a "whole horse of a different color."
America has always been in love with pigs, real or make believe, and here are just a few of our favorites.
First to come to mind are the three little pigs. These little fellows would not let the big bad wolf blow their houses down. Not by the hair on their chinny chin chins.
How about Piglet from Winnie-the-Pooh? He was Pooh's little sidekick. He was anxious and timid but would be very courageous when he needed to be.
Wilber from the book and movie "Charlotte's Web" is another all-time favorite pig. He was the runt of the litter but with the help of a friendly spider he grows up to be "some pig."
She is blonde, glamorous and feisty and is named Miss Piggy. She first appeared on the Muppet Show in 1976 and we have been in love with her ever since.
The movie "Toy Story" has a famous piggy bank named Hamm. He is a know-it-all pig who spouts off some of the funniest lines in this popular movie.
The sitcom in the 60s gave us a famous, real live pig. Arnold was the adopted pig son of Fred and Doris Ziffel in the weekly series of "Green Acres." Arnold knew how to paint, attended Hooterville School and loved to watch TV just like a real boy.
Another pig to make the big screen was Babe. In the critically acclaimed movie from 1995, he was the heroic character to save Farmer Hoggetts sheep from a pack of stray dogs. "That'll do pig."
The latest Internet sensation is Chris P. Bacon. This little pig was born January 2013 without the use of his hind legs. He lives in a small veterinary clinic in Clermont, Fla., and gets around with a small wheelchair made just for him. You can follow his achievements on Facebook.
How could we forget our own Lehigh Valley's most famous pig? Pork Chop is the mascot for the Iron Pigs minor league baseball team. No game would be complete without him.
My personal favorite is Porky Pig. He made his debut on Merrie Melodies in 1935. I remember him best as the stuttering little pig that marked the end of the Looney Tunes Saturday morning cartoons.
So, happy National Pigs Day and in Porky's own words, "Th-th-th-th-that's all folks!"