(JTA) — It’s a Christmas miracle: Shlomo the Pig will be spending Christmas in Miami after all.
Shlomo was one of four pigs given a new lease on life Tuesday in a pig-pardoning ceremony that has come to mark the kickoff of Miami’s Christmas celebrations. The ceremony is a local riff on the turkey pardons that American presidents have issued for decades, adapted to reflect Miami’s large Hispanic population.
This year’s pigs — the others were named Manchita, Sakura and David — were raised by Yariv and Asuka Mashav, two Jewish farmers who raise goats, ducks and pigs on their South Florida farm.
The piglets were pardoned by Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, who is also Jewish.
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“So this may sound like bad news for pork lovers,” Levine Cava said at the ceremony about the pardons, according to NPR. “But it’s a great thing if you’re a pig since your Christmas-related activities in Miami-Dade County primarily include slowly rotating over an open fire.”
After the ceremony, the pigs will move to a foster home where they won’t have to worry about becoming somebody’s dinner. Not that they were ever in much danger.
“It’s not kosher. They’re very safe in a Jewish house,” Yariv Mashav told NPR.