Chinese Year of the Tiger

It’s a sign of rebellion, passion, sincerity and humanitarianism. Those born in a Tiger year are thought to possess all of these traits, and as we start a new page in the Chinese Lunar Calendar—which officially begins on February 14th—it is indeed time for the Tiger.

There are several interpretations of the Legend of the 12 Animals, which gives rise to the correlation of the year with an animal. Some say that the creatures of Earth became quarrelsome many years ago, and the Chinese god Jade Emperor decided to give each creature a year of its own. A race was ordered to determine which animal had which year, and twelve animals were chosen to participate. Cunning and sly, the Rat won the race, followed by the Ox, the Tiger, the Rabbit, the Dragon, the Snake, the Horse, the Goat, the Monkey, the Rooster, the Dog and finally the Pig.

Others say that during the celebration of the Chinese New Year many years ago, Buddha called upon all the creatures of the land to bid him farewell before he departed the earth. To his disappointment, only 12 animals came forth. The first to arrive was the charming rat, who they say nimbly bounced off the Ox to beat him by a nose. The hard working and plodding Ox was close behind, followed by the charismatic Tiger and the rest of the animals. Buddha then declared that he would reward the animals by naming a year after each of them, and those born on that year would possess the qualities of the reigning animal.

Notable “Tigers” include American actress Marilyn Monroe, German musician Ludwig Van Beethoven, Queen Elizabeth II of England, and Hollywood star Leonardo diCaprio.

What is your sign?

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