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Chinese New Year

Year of the Tiger

Tiger (born in 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022, 2034, and 2046)

The Tiger is known as being a born leader, someone who is always willing to try new things.  With magnetic personalities, the Tiger is hard to resist, having a natural charm and aura of leadership.  According to Chinese legend, the Tiger born at night has a lifetime of less turmoil while those born in the day, specifically around noon, will experience life of trauma and even danger.  In either case, this person is often met with obstacles.

Sometimes referred to as Dragon Lady or for the Chinese, Old Tiger Lady, the goal for the Chinese is to produce sons.  Therefore, it is recommended that anyone under the Tiger sign avoid producing children during the Tiger year in that a daughter would be born, not a son.  Because the Tiger is considered the greatest power on the planet and the emblem for protection over humans, many people will keep tiger figurines in the home to thwart fire, thieves, and evil spirits.


Positive Characteristics

 

A natural leader, the Tiger can be a great influence on other people.  This person is works hard while maintaining an attitude of efficiency and enthusiasm.  With this individual, you would find generosity, warm hearted, and extremely courageous.  Although strong and bold, the Tiger also has a sensitive side.  This individual can be emotional and therefore, able to love unconditionally.

 

When it comes to love, this person goes all out, being very, romantic and often having difficulty with moderation.  The person who falls under the Tiger sign is loyal to friends but expects the same in return.  As a symbol of power and strength, the Tiger tends to be inspirational.  The person’s character is dynamic, which results in many admirers.

 

Typically, the people with the Tiger sign have a natural magnetic personality, making him or her highly social.  Although the Tiger can be a bit frank sometimes, true friends appreciate this trait, always knowing where they stand.  However, this person is also honest and open, with a huge heart of kindness.  However, when it comes to standing up for rights, this person will say and do what he/she feels is right.

 

Ferocious lovers, the Tiger has a real sensual side that promises an irresistible connection.  Although this person is known for having a more free-spirited side while young, he or she will settle down with age.  In fact, when the Tiger is in a committed relationship, he or she will work hard to make it fulfilling.  For life, this individual will be romantic, loving, generous, and dedicated to supporting the family.

 

Negative Characteristics

 

The Tiger is a wonderful person but there are a few negative aspects of this sign.  For starters, this individual can be somewhat unpredictable.  Always being in a hurry, the person under this sign is often tense.  Because of this, you often find this person more successful working on his/her own, rather than under the microscope of a boss.  While the Tiger is loving and kind, he/she also has fearsome characteristics, always courageous when faced with danger.

 

This person is also confident, which is a good thing, but sometimes the Tiger goes overboard.  The Tiger is also one that should never be challenged unless the opponent is ready to put up a good fight.  As a hard worker, the Tiger has the ability to make a great living but interestingly, he/she is not necessarily that infatuated with money.  However, if the Tiger is in a position of not having much money, he or she will become stressed.  The young person with this sign is often flirtatious, prone to taking risks in his/her love life while young, but this does pass.

 

You will also find that a Tiger is quite outspoken, especially when it comes to injustice.  Keep in mind, the one thing you never want to do with a person under the Tiger sign is back him/her into a corner.  With this, you will see the claws come out.  In instances where the Tiger has a liberal viewpoint, you might see rash decisions being made and resistance to authority.

 


Career Opportunities

 

Known as an extremely hard and dedicated worker, the Tiger would succeed in just about any career.  This person has a versatile mind, often looking for positions that offer a little bit of challenge.  While the Tiger is not overly interested in money, he or she is capable of financial success due to personality and character traits.

 

Sign Compatibility

 

When the Tiger meets a Dragon or Horse, things get interesting in that they make a great match, specifically when it comes to love.  Additionally, this individual gets along very well with the Boar and Rat but not the Rabbit.  Most importantly, the Tiger and Ox should avoid one another since they both see themselves as being a born leader, someone of strength and persuasion.

 

Therefore, the most capable signs with the Tiger include the Horse, Dragon, Rat, Monkey, Pig, Dog, and Snake.  A Tiger gets along relatively well with another Tiger, as well as the Rooster.  Signs that do not mesh well with the Tiger are the Ox, Rabbit, and Sheep, which is actually a worse combination than the Ox.

 

Famous Tigers

 

Tigers share the Chinese zodiac sign with famous people such as Beethoven, Marilyn Monroe, Queen Elizabeth II, and C.A. Lindbergh.


The Dragon Dance is one of the most colorful events associated with Chinese New Years.  Participating dancers hold up the dragon "costume" on poles and perform intricate maneuvers, while lights flash and pyrotechnic devices go off.  The effect of this dance is spectacular, as the serpentine dragon whirls and twirls its way around the crowd.  The tradition of the Dragon Dance goes back centuries, and has deep connections with Chinese culture and mythology. 

The origins of the Dragon Dance stretch back to when peasants in rural China would use it as an appeal to the dragon spirit.  It was believed that performing the dance could halt the spread of epidemics, as the dragon spirit would help to cleanse the air and water.  The dragon spirit is highly revered in China for their wisdom, intelligence, and courage.  In fact, children born in the Year of the Dragon (which comes every 12 years and most recently in 2000) are considered to be very lucky.  From its origins as a healing dance, the Dragon Dance went on to become a popular folk activity.  When westerners first encountered the Dragon Dance around 1000 A.D., it was already a part of festivals and celebrations. 

The size of the dragon used in the Dragon Dance varies greatly based on the skill of the performers and their resources.  Most dragons have between nine and 25 sections, each of which is about five or six feet long.  Some talented dragon dance teams have produced dragons with more than 40 sections, which results in the spectacular sight of a dragon more than 200 feet long!  The length of the dragon is supposed to bring good luck, and so communities work hard to produce the longest dragon possible.  Most dragons' robes are made of sequined, richly colored fabric that cover the dancers' bodies from the waist up, although a few dragons are made with dancers waving long colored fabrics on poles in undulating patterns. 

The dragon's head is usually equipped with a gaping mouth, which is sometimes able to open and close.  Since the Dragon Dance is most often performed at night, the mouth is often the source of flames, fireworks, or bright lights, while the body of the dragon will also be lighted or will have sequins that reflect light in the area.  One of the traditions of the Dragon Dance is grabbing money offered by spectators.  As the dragon moves through the crowd, it will try to catch money in its mouth.  If the spectator wants to offer a large denomination bill, they hold it high in order to challenge the dancers' skill and agility.  In some cases, money has been held from first story windows, and the dragon dancers have stood on each other’s shoulders to climb the wall.  Whether money is offered or not, though, the Dragon Dance is a spectacular sight and a must-see for anyone attending a Chinese celebration.


The description of this trade route to the west as the `Silk Road' is misleading. In fact, no single route or road was taken. In crossing Central Asia, several different branches developed, passing through different oasis settlements. The name `Silk Road' is relatively new in historic terms, and was actually coined by a nineteenth century German scholar named von Richthofen

It is often thought that the Romans had first come in contact with silk on one of their campaigns against the Parthians in 53 B.C. It is said that the Romans learned from Parthian prisoners that silk came from a mysterious tribe in the east, who they referred to as the silk people, or `Seres.'  Caravans heading towards China carried gold and other metals, ivory, precious stones, and glass to trade. In the opposite direction, besides silk, furs, ceramics, jade, bronze objects, lacquer, and iron were carried.  The most significant commodity carried along this route though, was not silk, but religion. Buddhism came to China from India, along the northern branch of the route and Christianity also made an early appearance on the scene. 

Prosperous as the Silk Road was, it was always influenced by the political atmosphere of the day. A stable political environment meant that trade went smoothly, a turbulent state of affairs meant that trade was hindered. The height of the importance of the Silk Road occurred during the Tang dynasty in the seventh century, when, at that time, many favorable policies were adopted that encouraged trade.

The later demise of the Silk Road was caused by the development of a trade route by sea from Europe to Asia. It was becoming easier and safer to transport goods by water rather than overland. Ships had become stronger and more reliable, and the route passed through promising new markets in Southern Asia. The overland problems of `tribal politics' between the different peoples along the route and the presence of middlemen, all taking their cut on the goods, took their toll on the Silk Road, and prompted many traders to choose the sea routes.  

As trade with the West subsided, so did the traffic along the Road, and all but the best-watered oases declined. The grottos and other religious sites were long since neglected, now that the local peoples had espoused new religions, and the abandoned towns and sites became buried deeper beneath the sands.

Renewed interest in the Silk Road only emerged among Western scholars towards the end of the nineteenth century, when archaeologists sought the Silk Road's treasures from the past. But, on May 25th, 1925, a student demonstration in the port of Shanghai resulted in a riot and the British opened fire, killing a number of rioters. This created a wave of hostility towards foreigners throughout China, and effectively brought the explorations of the Western archaeologists to an end. The Chinese authorities started to take a much harsher view of the foreign intervention, and organizing archaeological trips became very difficult. The Chinese demanded that all artifacts be turned over and this effectively ended foreign exploration of the region. The treasures of the ancient Silk Road are now scattered in museums in about a dozen countries. The biggest collections are located in the British Museum and in Delhi, India. 

Today, the Silk Road is increasing in importance once again. The construction of roads and the discovery of large oil reserves under the desert is encouraging development. The area is rapidly becoming industrialized. The trade route itself is also being reopened, and trading is being encouraged by the recent trend towards a `socialist market economy' in China. Since China opened its doors to foreign tourists at the end of the 1970s, tourism is recognized as a lucrative commodity. This has encouraged Chinese authorities to strive to protect the remaining historical sites and restoration of many of the sites is underway.

This ancient trade route has seen many changes since its birth before Christ, through its brightest days in the Tang dynasty, until its slow decline approximately seven hundred years ago. Once again though, because of changes in the political climate, the Silk Road may yet see international trade again, but on a scale never thought possible in the days of traveling by camels and horses.

Unlike the westernized style of zodiac, the Chinese zodiac actually dates back to 2500 BC during the reign of Emperor Huang Ti.  This particular zodiac calendar provides an annual look into activity based on the moon’s cycles.  Beginning with a lunar year, which can begin anytime from late January to the middle of February, each calendar consists of five cycles, each being 12 years. 

For each of the 12 years, the Chinese zodiac includes animals, which has a very interesting legend.  It is believed that before Lord Buddha left the earth, he summoned all of the animals to come before him.  However, of all the animals, only 12 showed up to bid him farewell.  In honor of these 12, Lord Buddha named a year after them.  The belief is that the animal associated with each year rules over it.  Therefore, the lifestyle and personality of the person born under that animal sign is strongly influenced by that particular animal, being supported by the old Chinese saying, “This is the animal that hides in your heart.” 

During an excavation in 1955 of a tomb dating back to the Tang Dynasty, a set of zodiac figurines were found, each carefully made from pottery.  Interestingly, these figurines were created with the body of a human but the head of each of the 12 animals.  During the North Zhou Dynasty, which was from 557 to 581 AD, a very popular practice was to determine a person’s year of birth using the zodiac signs.  You would even find the coordinating zodiac on eating utensils and grave headstones. 

The 12 animals that showed up in front of Lord Buddha included the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig successively.  The story is that the cat spoke with his friend the rat.  They agreed that whichever one of them awoke in the morning first would be responsible for waking the other so they could go to Lord Buddha together.  Unfortunately, the rat broke his promise to the cat, arriving alone.  Shortly thereafter, the remaining 11 animals showed up and by the time that the cat awoke, the meeting had concluded.  The legend is that because of this, cats resent and kill rats.  To give you a better idea of how the Chinese zodiac works, consider the following: 

Rat (born in 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020, 2032, 2044) – First animal in the cycle, considered aggressive, suspicious, ambitious, quick to anger, power hungry, hot-tempered, critical, as well as generous, honest, charming, imaginative, and generous.  It is common for people under the Rat zodiac to be publicists, writers, or critics.  The Rat coordinates well with the Monkey and Dragon, but the Horse should be avoided.

Year of the Rat Page

Ox (born in 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033, 2045) – Powerful, unyielding, stubborn, but also born leaders, great parents, typically successful, upright, inspiring, conservative, and easy-going.  Typical careers would include a surgeon, military personnel, or hairdresser.  The Ox gets along with the Snake and Rooster but the Sheep should be avoided.

Year of the Ox Page

Tiger (born in 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022, 2034, and 2046) – Fighting animal, which is aggressive, unpredictable, emotional, yet charming, sensitive, courageous, and capable of giving immense love.  Somewhat of a risk taker, while also carefree.  Excellent positions include anything with supervision, an explorer, matador, or racecar driver.  Love tendencies are strong between the Horse and Dog but the Monkey should be left alone.

Year of the Tiger Page

Rabbit (born in 1915, 1927, 1939, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2003, 2036, and 2047) – Affectionate, talented, pleasant, value security, enjoy tranquility, sometimes too sentimental and superficial, cautious, and generally successful in business.  The rabbit would make an excellent actor, lawyer, or diplomat.  The best life partners would include the Sheep or Pig but not Roosters.

Year of the Rabbit Page

Dragon (born in 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024, 2036, and 2048) – The Dragon is highly intelligent, gifted, unfaithful, loud, garish, popular, successful, enthusiastic, although also stubborn.  Typically, the Dragon would be a priest, politician, artist, or some type of leader.  Very compatible with the Snake or Rooster but the Sheep should be avoided.

Year of the Dragon Page

Snake (born in 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2015, 2037, and 2049) – People under this sign are clever, determined, passionate, intense, romantic, charming, and wise, but also tend to be vain and guided strongly by intuition.  The Snake will win money but should avoid being stingy.  The best jobs for this sign would be a writer, philosopher, teacher, fortuneteller, or psychiatrist.  The snake coordinates will with the Ox and Rooster, but not the Pig.

Year of the Snake Page

Horse (born in 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026, 2038, and 2050) – The Horse is friendly, intelligent, popular, cheerful, but also has an impatient, cunning, and selfish streak.  This person is typically a scientist, politician, poet, or adventurer.  The Horse goes well with the Dog and Tiger but not necessarily the Rat.

Year of the Horse Page

Sheep (born in 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027, 2039, and 2051) – Sheep are creative, passionate, artistic, elegant, honest, and warmhearted, but also timid, disorganized, pessimistic, and vulnerable.  The best career for the Sheep would be an actor, beachcomber, or gardener.  The Sheep is very compatible with the Rabbit and Pig and the Ox should be avoided.

Year of the Sheep Page

Monkey (born in 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028, 2040, and 2052) – Very intelligent, clever, inventive, and entertaining, the Monkey can also be discouraged easily and live dangerously.  Often distrustful of other people, they will guard against many situations.  The great thing about being a Monkey is that they will succeed in anything they want to do.  The best compatibility comes with the Dragon or Rat, not the Tiger.

Year of the Monkey Page

Rooster (born in 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029, 2041, and 2053) – The Rooster is hardworking, courageous, eager for more knowledge, strong decision-makers, very skilled, and great with details.  However, the Rooster is also arrogant, shrewd, eccentric, and sometimes, reckless.  The perfect career for a Rooster would be a restaurant owner, military personnel, publicist, or world traveler.  This sign gets along best with the Snake and Ox but the Rabbit should be far away.

Year of the Rooster / Cock Page

Dog (born in 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030, 2042, and 2054) – People born under the Dog are honest, quiet, generous, intelligent, and very loyal while also being a bit stubborn.  They tend to worry about everything, have a sharp tongue, and like to place fault on others.  However, people under this sign are also very successful, making them great candidates for business, teaching, or working as a secret agent.  Tigers and Horses are the best match while the Dragon should be handled with caution.

Year of the Dog Page

Pig – (born in 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2020, 2031, and 2043) – Very honest, sincere, tolerant, kind, and affectionate, the Pig is also short tempered and impulsive.  Since people under this sign are eager for knowledge, they tend to be successful, especially when it comes to finances, entertainment, or the legal field.  The best match would be the Sheep and Rabbit but Pigs and Pigs do not do well together.

Year of the Pig Page


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