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The Year of the Tiger

Updated on June 19, 2011

Animal for the Year

The Chinese Calender follows a cyclic system where it uses an animal each for a year for 12 years before they get repeated. The twelve animals each have their own characteristics and the year of your birth will make you inherit the peculiarities of that particular animal. Think of it as an alternative to the monthly Zodiac Signs you find in western astrology. Here are the animals that are repeated 5 times every 12 years to give the Chinese Calender its 60 Year Cycle.

Rat - the last year of the rat was from 7 February 2008 to 25 Jan 2009

Ox- the last year of the ox was from 26 Jan 2009 to 13 Feb 2010

Tiger - this is the current year and will last from 14th Feb 2010 to 2 Feb 2011

Hare - coming up 3 Feb 2011 to 22 Jan 2012

Dragon - 23 Jan 2012 to 9 Feb 2013

Snake - 10 Feb 2013 to 30 Jan 2014

Horse - 31 Jan 2014 to 18 Feb 2015

Goat - 19 Feb 2015 to 7 Feb 2016





Well you get the general idea about how it works, now let's talk a bit more about the Tiger!

Tiger Tiger burning bright

Think of the stripped Tiger and you can feel the majesty of the beast. So what if it is on the highly endangered species list. It is still an animal that inspires awe. Many of the traits associated with the Tiger are also said to be associated with the people who are born under its year.

What are the Characteristics associated with the Tiger?

The Chinese name of the Tiger is Yin.

The Compass Point for it will be East North-East or ENE

The Element associated with it is Fire

The main attribute associated with it is Energy

The best time for a Tiger is 3 to 5 am

The month and western zodiac associated with it is Feb, Aquarius.


The Chinese New Year is also the Spring Festival for the Chinese and it is a much awaited one after the bitter winter. It is a traditional Chinese holiday which is considered very important. In fact it lasts from the first day of the new year to the 15th day. A fortnight full of revelry is in order.

The food and dancing aside there are a lot of presents in Red. The usual practice is for married couples to give Red Envelopes with money to elderly and unmarried juniors. The kids get small red gifts which contain food or sweets.

Much like the Christmas tree the Chinese Shop around for the perfect Auspicious Plum Tree to decorate their homes with during the Spring Festival. A number of other auspicious signs associated with Feng Shui are also brought into the homes during this period to bring in good luck for the coming year.

No Chinese Celebration would be complete without the Fireworks! The origin of which came about when hollow bamboo sticks were filled with gun powder and exploded to expel evil spirits from the vicinity. Although they are being banned in more and more countries thanks to the potential danger and the ever present air pollution that it creates.

The Tray of togetherness is a circular with eight sections. Each section is filled with a special food that donates something.Here's the list. (the one in the photo is not strictly traditional as it does not have the eight partitions)

Candied melon - growth and good health
Red melon seed - dyed red to symbolize joy, happiness, truth and sincerity
Lychee nut - strong family relationships
Kumquat - prosperity (gold)
Coconut - togetherness
Peanuts - long life
Longnan - many good sons
Lotus seed - many children

The predominant color for clothes and decorations is RED! It is based on the story of a mythological creature called the Nien. This Nien would come and devour all in its way from livestock to children. However this mystical beast was afraid of the color red, and so hanging out red lanterns and wearing red clothes scared it away. Practices which continue till this day!


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    • cashmere profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from India

      I'll have to check and get back to you on that one Candie.

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 

      8 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      This is great Cashmere! I'm sorry I'm late - trying to catch up! Looking for 1958.. I can't remember what I am.. dog? Oh well.. I'll keep looking!

      Hugs my dear friend!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      An excellent hub, must say. Keep it up.

    • hudsonj1994 profile image


      9 years ago from Alabama

      Great hub! Spectacular information!

    • prasetio30 profile image


      9 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I hope this year will better than last year...amen.

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 

      9 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      Gosh, this is a great Hub on the Chinese New Year! YOu really explained it well. I am facinated by the culture of the Chinese people.

    • cashmere profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from India

      Ah! I'm a horse according to the Chinese version and a Gemini according to its western counter part. In the Indian version I am a Mithuna.

    • Tomono profile image


      9 years ago

      We follow the Chinese Zodiac in Japan too. I'm a snake and my son is a mouse (or is rat a better word?). My husband thinks he's the coolest because he's a dragon...

    • cashmere profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from India

      Glad you like it Princessa! Your approval means a lot to me :)

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      9 years ago from France

      I like the vivacity of the Chinese New Year celebrations, they are so colourful and full of meaning.

      Thanks for the insight.

    • karhubpages profile image


      9 years ago from India

      Yes, good to see this year has been choosen as the Year of Tiger. In India, we have only approximately 1600 Tigers and it's time to protect our National Animal (Tiger). Thank you for the wonderful hub.

    • cashmere profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from India

      Yes there is some similarity between the cultures. If you have clicked through to the link on Auspicious times given above it is rather similar to the Indian concept of a Shubh Mahurat for specific decisions to be taken.

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 

      9 years ago from Guwahati, India

      The Chinese festival of new year has a similarity with the Indian's new year and even there is similarity in religion too - to some extent.Thanks for nice hub.

    • cashmere profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from India

      Thank you, glad you enjoyed it.

    • amirsubge profile image


      9 years ago from Pakistan

      nice hub

    • cashmere profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from India

      Yes my dear fish tiger it truly is your year! Thanks Purple Perl and Dao Hoa.

    • Dao Hoa profile image

      Dao Hoa 

      9 years ago

      Thanks for an informational hub.

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Esther Shamsunder 

      9 years ago from Bangalore,India

      Excellent hub as always, cashmere. :)

    • fishtiger58 profile image


      9 years ago from Momence, Illinois

      Great hub, my father has called me Tiger my whole life, so this must be my year,thanks for an interesting read.

    • cashmere profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from India

      Thank you ateenyi, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • ateenyi profile image


      9 years ago from Chicago

      Great Hub!!!!!!!

      The hub provides tremendous enjoyment. The twelve animals in Chinise calender each have their own characteristics and the year of the individual birth will make the individual inherit the peculiarities of that particular animal.The clarity and balance shine from this hub.

    • cashmere profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from India

      That's what Nostradamus said too?!!

    • Haunty profile image


      9 years ago from Hungary

      You can delete the years after 2012. ;)

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      9 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Good hub. I really enjoyed it.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      9 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for an interesting hub. I appeciated it and I would appreciate your comment on my hub.


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