Everyone across the globe has the 1st of January every year to put on their dancing shoes and get dressed to the nines to celebrate the new calendar year. In 2010, ethnic Chinese across the world will have something extra to celebrate on the English calendar’s Valentine’s Day. Yes, 14 February 2010 is the start of the new Tiger year!
If you’re scratching your head wondering why it’s called a Tiger year, wonder no more, you’re about to get a mini crash course about the Chinese Zodiac.
Like the Western Zodiac, both follow a cycle of 12 parts. Both the Chinese Zodiac and Western Zodiac assign a symbol or representation to each part of the cycle. Both zodiacs have the culture of attributing the characteristics of their 12 representations on a person and associating its relationship to events occurring in their life. The Chinese Zodiac relates a different animal to each of the 12 parts. The Western Zodiac is associated with signs and the symbols on the ring of 12 constellations that lines the ecliptic. The major difference between the two zodiacs is in the fact that the Chinese Zodiac’s 12 part cycle is divided into years rather than months.
In the Chinese Zodiac, the Tiger is the third animal of the cycle of 12. There are many stories behind the position of these animals in the cycle. However, most of the stories revolve around a race to the finish by these animals to obtain the positions they currently hold in the cycle. The rat came in first position, followed by the ox, the tiger, the rabbit, the dragon, the snake, the horse, the ram, the monkey, the rooster, the dog and the pig.
The tiger has also long been revered as a symbol of strength and power and a subject of awe and fear, both majestic and proud. If the lion were the “king of beasts” in western culture then perhaps the tiger could be seen as the prince of beasts. However, in Eastern Asia and in Chinese culture, the tiger replaces the lion as the “king of beasts” representing royalty, fearlessness and wrath.
Image credit: Vexen
Of course, a person born in the year of the tiger is attributed to have the qualities of courage, optimism, tolerance, and generosity. A tiger born person is said to be born to command, not to obey; and also shares the prestige and respect the dragon is given in Chinese culture. Passionate, daring, sincere and affectionate are but a few positive traits a tiger born person is said to have. However, no human or animal is perfect. People born in the year of the tiger are also said to be unpredictable, reckless, selfish and aggressive.
Regardless, we are about to say goodbye to the Year of the Ox and welcome the Year of the Tiger. Let us welcome this New Year by taking a look at some photographs and illustrations of the tiger and celebrate its beauty and powerful grace.
Celebrating the Year of the Tiger with 20 Awesome Tiger Images
“Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forest of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmertry?” – William Blake, The Tiger
In Zurich Waters
Little Cub in Training
White Tiger Swimming
King of the Hill
White Tiger Yawns
Want to create your own tiger illustration to welcome this new Tiger Year? We have included links to some tiger tutorials, and hope the coming Year of the Tiger will be a smooth sailing and prosperous one for you and everyone around you.
In Chinese Brush Painting
Cute Little Tiger in Illustrator
Urban Tiger Manipulation
Ending off with the Tiger’s Roar
Are you born in the year of the tiger? If you are, does your personality matches the traits of the tiger? For those celebrating the Lunar new year, Onextrapixel team wishes you a Happy Roaring New Year!