Over half the world’s population celebrates the Chinese New Year. According to Chinese tradition, the lunar calendar is named after one of twelve animals – the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig – in a specific cycle. Each animal represents certain characteristics, and many believe that people born during that particular year take on those personality traits.
February 14th marked the beginning of the Chinese Year of the Tiger. As the largest animal in the cat family, tigers are admired for their power, size, intelligence, courage and independence. Tigers are solitary animals that hunt under the veil of the night, often traveling great distances to feed on buffalo, wild pigs and deer. It is said that people born during the Year of the Tiger can be indecisive and quick to anger, but they are bold, intellectual people with an elevated sympathy for others.
The Year of the Tiger is drawing a heightened awareness to this beautiful, majestic animal. Tiger populations are rapidly disappearing from the planet, in part due to habitat destruction and the poaching for fur and body parts. According to the World Wildlife Fund, only 3,200 wild tigers remain in the wild, occupying just 7% of their range.
Recently, thirteen tiger-range countries made a pledge to double the population of wild tigers by 2022 , offering hope for the species. You can show your support by signing a petition online to help protect tigers from illegal trade, and follow the developments through The Tiger Initiative and World Wildlife Fund.
Were you born during a Year of the Tiger?
1902, 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998 and 2010.
Think you know all about tigers? Try our quiz!