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What Year is the tiger in Chinese Zodiac

May 28, 2021 11 min read

What Year is the tiger in Chinese Zodiac

The Chinese Tiger is at the center of many mysteries and questions. The image of this legendary feline continues to inspire the greatest astrologers. This can be seen through the various myths that revolve around the animal and its zodiac sign.

Indeed, whether it is on a cultural, philosophical, or even political level, the influence of the striped fawn is omnipresent in the whole of Asia. An authentic symbol of power and ambition, the aura of the Tiger has allowed the greatest Empires to be born and fully assume their domination. You will see that its personality and its way of hunting contributed enormously to the development of strategic and military techniques.

Besides that, the Chinese Tiger is also a species of felid. It is better known as the Southern China Tiger; it is subject to many problems. So, in addition to talking about the cultural aspect, we will also talk about the real dangers it faces in China.

Finally, if you are here, it is sure to learn a little more about the place of the Tiger in China. After reading this article, you will know that a lot of factors have played in favor of its popularity and its international influence!

To enter the heart of the Middle Kingdom and discover its most emblematic predator!

A Sacred Animal in China

tiger chinese zodiac

 China is a very ancient nation that has seen a number of very different dynasties. This country with rich and priceless culture is a land that has seen some of the most beautiful animal species in the world evolve.

In the ancient Chinese Empire, the first traces of cohabitation between Man and the Great Tiger can be found. The 'local populations very quickly devoted a cult to the striped fawn because they had never before seen a beast of such splendor. His power will be considered by them as the King of the mountain or the God of the jungle.

Anyway, this event will be worth to him to be sacred in the Chinese mythology and the Dragon. Moreover, these two creatures are often opposed in ancient representations and writings. The symbol of Yin and Yang is a perfect example because this balance of forces is usually translated by a perpetual confrontation between the Tiger (Yang) and the Dragon (Yin).

In addition to mythology, the significance of the Tiger has had a significant impact on its popularity and status as a sacred animal. In China, the cat symbolizes justice and respect for ancient traditions, so the Year of the Tiger, which occurs every 12 years, is so vital to the citizens. The population has a deep admiration for this sacred animal, a witness of natural power.

tigers in a pack

 This feeling can be felt through the numerous artistic representations of the image of the Tiger. There are countless paintings, scrolls, frescoes, and porcelains expressing the enchanting beauty of its silhouette. These creations are of finesse and quality unequaled and unmatched by other civilizations.

For the anecdote, the Western countries were snatching these artistic masterpieces at a high price.

Even the old emperors wanted the walls of the temples and the streets of the cities to be decorated with paintings in the effigy of the Tiger. All this was to express the grandeur and ambition of their Empire. Traces of these cities entirely painted in honor of the Tiger are present in some writings of ancient literature. Even today, Chinese temples proudly bear the image of the Tiger on their doors as a symbol of ancestral royalty.

But if we were to choose one area where the mere presence of the Tiger was enough to revolutionize traditions completely, it would be war!

The Tiger served as an inspiration for many Chinese military generals. Sun Tzu himself used the discretion and the vivacity of the Tiger to perfect his strategies. This is reflected in the book "The Art of War," a classic book recognized worldwide for its relevance and insight into warfare!


The Symbols of the Chinese Tiger

1) The Fire Tiger

Fire Tiger

The Fire Tiger is a mythical animal of the zodiac and astrology. Occupying the 3rd place in the Chinese sexagesimal cycle (60 years) is full of meanings.

First of all, only people born in 1926 or 1986 are true Fire Tigers. Their lucky numbers are 3 and 9, while their lucky colors are green and golden yellow. In tradition, Fire is the 2nd branch of the five primary elements.

But what about its influence on human personality and behavior?

Fire Tigers are known to be naturally intelligent, quick-witted, and very wise people. They love to read and are attracted to enriching cultural activities from an early age. Honesty and seriousness are the two founding pillars of their personality, as no matter what the situation, they will always fully express their opinions.

On the other hand, they can also be overly proud and eager to earn the admiration of others. This trait can cause them to make a fool of themselves without even realizing it to get some attention.

If you want to know more about this symbol, we invite you to look at our complete article on the Fire Tiger!

2) The Wooden Tiger

Wooden Tiger

 The Wooden Tiger is much less famous than his cousin of the flames. However, this does not prevent him from exercising great power over his followers. It is found in the 51st place of the 60 sacred animals of the Chinese zodiac.

To be a Wood Tiger, you must have been born in 1974 or 1914 for the oldest. The two and the 7 are the lucky numbers for these people, while on the other hand, green and brown are their favorite colors. Wood is found in 1st place in the theory of the five primary materials.

Does the power of this animal affect people's lives?

Of course, it does, and if you are a Wood Tiger, you may recognize yourself in this description. Individuals of this sign are naturally strong, courageous, but above all independent. They love to do things themselves and like to be helpful by helping others. Loyalty is paramount with them because they always keep it when they give their word!

Despite this, they can sometimes be selfish and think only of themselves. On top of that, Wood Tigers can't admire other people, even when they do great things.

To learn more about this animal, we invite you to read our full article on the Wood Tiger!

3) The Metal Tiger

Metal Tiger

 The Metal Tiger is very popular in Chinese astrology because of its unique temperament. It is located at the 27th place in the great Chinese calendar, between the earth buffalo and the metal hare.

Metal Tigers are only born in 1950 or 2010 for the youngest. Their lucky numbers are 1, 3, and 4, and their lucky colors are blue, grey, and white. In the 4th position, we find metal in the theory of the five sacred elements.

What about the character of the Metal Tigers?

These people are very popular with those around them because of their cheerful and always enthusiastic personality. These Tigers are independent enough not to need the help of others all the time. They love to live in a quiet place, far from the noise of big cities. Finally, for the family is the essential thing in the world and they will do their best to take care of it as best they can!

On the other hand, these Metal Tigers are very emotional and depend significantly on their emotions. They are very sensitive to mood swings and have a tremendous lack of patience. People of this sign have to control themselves if they want to be happy.

Learn more about the Chinese zodiac by reading our full article on the Metal Tiger!

4) The Earth Tiger

Earth Tiger

 The Earth Tiger has established itself in the Chinese culture thanks to the multiple facets of its personality. It is at the 15th place in the Chinese sexagesimal cycle and symbolizes the opposition between Yin and Yang.

Those who were born in 1938 or 1998, you are an Earth-Tiger. According to astrology, your lucky numbers are 3 and 9, while your lucky colors are brown and gold. In addition, the Chinese five elements myth places Earth as the 3rd fundamental matter to the existence of the universe.

However, what are the character traits of the Earth Tiger?

This animal brings an unerring sense of justice to people of its sign. Indeed, Earth Tigers are constantly fighting against injustices in the world. In addition, they work hard to achieve projects that are important to them. They are confident and adventurous, two qualities that will allow them to accomplish any dream as long as they don't get demotivated!

Even though they are very good people, they are not immune to some flaws. Earth Tigers can be impatient and angry. These personality traits make it typical for them to make many mistakes. In addition, they hate to follow the rules, so they get into a lot of trouble that they don't even know about.

Come and discover the origins and the complete description of this elemental animal in our article specially dedicated to the Earth Tiger!

5) The Water Tiger

Water Tiger

We finish with the element most appreciated by the sages: water. The ancients adore the Water Tiger for its calm and impassive temperament. It is found at the 39th position among the 60 animals of the Chinese calendar.

To be a Water Tiger, you have to be born in 1962; there is no other way. However, the following year of the Water Tiger is coming soon as it will be 2022. The two and the 8 are their favorite numbers, while blue and green represent their favorite colors. Water is the last element of the theory of the five raw materials at the origin of the world.

We will see right away the attraction of the Water Tiger on people!

As we told you before, this symbol is reflected by a calm and cautious character in people of this sign. Water Tigers have a constant thirst for knowledge as their highest goal is to understand the world around them. They also have a deep respect for the vastness of nature.

On the other hand, they often have too high an esteem for themselves. Therefore, even if they realize their mistakes, they will have the highest difficulty assuming them. Water Tigers need to rethink their view of themselves if they want to become perfect!

Finally, you can study this feline of the springs in more depth by reading our complete article on the Water Tiger!

The influence of the South China Tiger

1) The Chinese Tiger: An extraordinary species

chinese tiger alone

 Also known as the South China Tiger or Panthera tigris amoyensis, the Chinese Tiger is a Tiger species quite distinct from the others existing on earth. It is native to the province of Fujian and its surroundings in southern China. Many scientists consider it the common ancestor of all other species of Tigers.

From a physical perspective, the Chinese Tiger is not so different from its famous cousin, the Bengal Tiger, but specific physical characteristics can still identify it. The latter mainly concern its skull and its fur.

Indeed, its skull is shorter and less imposing than that of the Indian Tiger. Its coat also differs because it has a more orange color and more refined stripes but much more critical on the whole of its body. In addition, a male specimen of this species measures between 2 and 2.7 meters in adulthood for a weight oscillating between 120 and 180 kg. Bengal Tigers are therefore slightly longer and heavier than Chinese Tigers.

By the way, you can now get this small statue representing all the grace of the Chinese Tiger!


You will surely have understood that the Tiger's presence in the Chinese culture is mainly due to the existence of this animal on these lands. Some villages have fully lived alongside the Tigers throughout history, thus forging its reputation. The simple fact of observing the great fawn and its impressive physique closely was enough for it to become definitively established in the minds of the populations.

Before the 1940s, it was not uncommon for villagers to see tigers wandering on their land searching for prey. These animals increased in all of Southern China and more globally in the whole of Asia.

But this era is now over, and you will see why right away!

2) The Asian Fawn is highly endangered

tigers skin

 Unfortunately, after the Second World War, the population of Chinese Tigers decreased sharply throughout the country. This drama is explained by the economic recovery plan launched by Mao Zedong and which is called "the great leap forward." At that time, the Chinese dictator declared that the Tigers were the Empire's enemies and encouraged hunting to exterminate them.

Thus, many carnages took place everywhere in the south of the country to eradicate this animal considered "dangerous." In addition, deforestation was caused by the massive industrialization of the country after the 1950s. This phenomenon will destroy the habitat of the Tiger and drastically reduce the number of prey to hunt.

As you can imagine, these two events will have disastrous repercussions on the species.

So much so that today, there are no longer any South China Tigers in the wild. Nevertheless, it is estimated that there are 170 individuals currently living in captivity. These numbers are disturbing when you consider that these animals populated a large part of China before the 19th century. This makes the Chinese Tiger one of the most endangered animal species globally!

But a phenomenon has, even more, precipitated the fall of the beastwhile actively participating in its popularity. This is what we will see in this last part!

The Place of the Big Cat in Asian Medicine

chinese medicine

 Asian medicine is known for curing diseases and severe pain through natural elements. Thus in this field, the organs and bones of the Tiger play a central role thanks to their "supposed" healing power. Even if these virtues are not scientifically recognized, many Chinese believe in them and therefore indirectly encourage poaching and slaughter of Tigers.

Chinese medicine gives an essential place to the big cat, which it could do without.

In the 20th century, Chinese Tigers were the only species of cat to fall victim to this traffic. Today, illegal hunting threatens several lines of Tigers, such as the Siberian Tiger or the Indochinese Tiger. Without forgetting that other animals are also exposed to this practice, such as the panda or the rhinoceros, to name but a few.

old book

 The love of local people for this ancient tradition has not diminished in recent years. On the contrary, this practice has been growing in popularity lately for a straightforward reason. Chinese medicine is more than 3000 years old allows it to be considered a great source of authority among the populations.

If we were to take a positive note from this unfortunate situation, we could say that traditional medicine has contributed enormously to the popularity of the Tiger in China. The massive importation of bones, furs, and organs has brought this big cat to the attention of people living in big cities. In this way, it is easy to understand how Chinese medicine managed to popularize the Tiger while creating a real underground black market.

It is unfortunate to see that several thousand Tigers continue to die every year because of this.

In summary

angry tiger in chinese theme

 To recapitulate all that has been said, the tremendous popularity of the Chinese Tiger depends on various factors and their time. As you can probably imagine, the reputation of the Chinese Tiger did not develop overnight. The whole history has contributed and still contributes to the image of the Tiger.

The first thing that has contributed to this is, of course, the fact that it very quickly became a sacred animal. The old sages were so captivated by the complexity and temperament of the Tiger that they immediately elevated it to the highest rank. That will be worth to him to be regarded as a divinity by particular populations. For them, the demented strength of this hunter is irrefutable proof that nature is made to dominate Man.

The second event is directly linked to the first. Because by becoming a sacred animal, the Tiger also entered the Chinese calendar. This will allow him to be symbolically divided into five elements such as fire, wood, metal, earth, and water. Thus, these 5 Tigers are all part of the Chinese cycle of 60 years. So, they would have the power to influence the personality of people born in a specific year.

chinese cycle

 But the first two facts would surely never have come to light if the big cat did not exist in China itself. Indeed, the South China Tiger is the species that is described in ancient porcelains and scrolls. The popularity of the Chinese tiger is due to this animal, which is in great danger of extinction.

Finally, thanks to this article, you have become a true expert on this Oriental creature. You now know how the great beast has inspired and influenced the Chinese way of life.

So why not crown your efforts by adopting this Tiger Cushion Covers, a symbol of purity in all of China!


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