"It is actually the year of the Metal Tiger (the first since 1950) and will end on 2nd February 2011. The New Year celebration starts with the new moon and ends with the full moon 15 days later and this is commemorated with the Lantern Festival during which Chinese lanterns with wishes painted on them are let loose into the skies.
The cycle of 12 animal signs originates from Chinese tradition as a way of naming years. The animals follow an order and are repeated every 12 years. They are made up of the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig and each has its own characteristics which are symbolic for those born under that sign.
Over 60% of the world’s population will be celebrating Chinese New Year and although traditions and customs differ across China and in the rest of the world where celebrations will be taking place, many are shared.
Traditionally preparing for the New Year sees much cleaning of the home taking place, although one should always sweep and empty rubbish from the back door as the front door may mean sweeping away good fortune or a family member! All cleaning must stop on New Years Day and rubbish must not be thrown out until the 5th day. On the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve every door and window should be opened to allow the old year to leave and welcome in the New Year.
Supper on New Year’s Eve is a family feast and commemorates the ancestors, ending with firecrackers. Don’t cut your noodles as you could be cutting through your long life. The first person one meets in the New Year and the first words heard are symbolic for the year ahead. It is particularly lucky to see and hear songbirds, red coloured birds or swallows. Don’t wash your hair on New Year’s Day as you may wash away your good fortune and don’t use scissors and knives – you may be cutting your good fortune in pieces! And avoid crying. Crying on New Year’s Day brings tears all year!
Red is a colour of good luck and fortune and is often worn at this time. Doors and windows can be decorated with red paper and money is given in red envelopes. I’m thinking of commemorating the New Year with a Wishing Tree. I’ll be writing my wishes on red paper and tying them onto the tree and hoping the power of the Tiger will make them come true!
Chinese forecasters are predicting that 2010, the year of the White Tiger, will be a time of change. It can bring passion, protection, power and travel. One should prepare for potential conflicts although it could also herald vigour and prove beneficial for those who can harness the power it offers. The general advice may be to keep a steady hand on the helm!
Find out your own personal forecast according to your animal sign.
People born under the Tiger sign (1926,1938,1950,1962,1974,1986, 1998 and 2010) are born under a sign for courage. Having a Tiger in the house wards off fire, thieves and ghosts! The Tiger is a natural leader, symbolizing power, passion and daring. They are active, confident, dynamic, independent and unpredictable. They can be quick-tempered but considerate (and very generous with money), affectionate but careless. They cannot pass on a challenge and will fight to the death. Their challenge is to learn to pace themselves so they do not burn out and recognise early signs of ill health although they tend to recover quickly from illness and pain.
Tigers can be playful and enthusiastic and get bored easily. Well liked by others due to their charm, Tigers are warm, and generous with their time, money and attention. They can often be hunting for the next challenge although quick bursts of energy can be followed by exhaustion or even depression. They may appear cool but like every great cat, can pounce with no notice. Their contradiction can be rashness and hesitancy. But if they know how to relax they can be very successful.
For those of you expecting to have babies in this White Tiger Year, the metal element gives this Tiger a sharpness in action and speed of thought. These Tigers will like to stand out from the crowd. With an inspiring assertiveness and competitive demeanour, they will determine their goals and then do all they can to achieve them. Watch out for their mood swings or temper and guide them not to jump to conclusions and to understand that their actions have consequences. Tiger babies and children are cheerful with a passion for life and natural curiosity. They can be keen to compete and take part in challenges and thrive from having freedom in which to express themselves."
Tibetan Proverb: “It is better to have lived one day as a tiger than a thousand as a sheep”.So now you know! Enjoy both days.