The Year of the Tiger
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!
- Auspicious Times for Your Chinese Animal Sign
The Chinese Calender follows a 60 year cycle where each of 12 animals is repeated five times in a cycle. Depending on the year that you were born your Chinese Animal is determined.
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!