Speaking of Tigers


Flickr photo by claudiogennari

How many of you, when sitting down to eat at a Chinese restaurant, take the time to read the Chinese Zodiac placemat?  I know I always do.  It’s interesting to read the tidbits and personality traits associated with the year you were born, according to the Chinese.  Ugh, the year of the Rat is none too flattering; but there you have it, my Chinese Zodiac sign.

The legend of the Chinese Zodiac and how the 12 different ‘animal’ signs were selected, and why others were omitted, was told many centuries ago.  The Jade Emperor (the Emperor of Heaven) decided to call for a contest; a race, where all the animals of the kingdom were invited to participate.  There were to be twelve winners.  The race, coincidentally, was held on the Emperor’s birthday.  The race course was to cross the river, and it was the Rat who came in first, then the Ox, followed by the Tiger, and so on.  You can learn so much more on this topic by visiting http://www.thingsasian.com/stories-photos/2363.

 2010 is the year of the Tiger, which officially began on February 14th.  Sadly, the wild tiger is on the verge of extinction and there is an appeal to help save the wild tiger.  For further information please visit www.tiger911.org.



2 thoughts on “Speaking of Tigers

  1. I love this article, my son and I eat Chinese at least once a week, and have often wondered how the Chinese Zodiac came to be….thanks for the info!

  2. You are welcome — actually I did not know the origin of it until I began researching the Chinese New Year — knowing that it fell on Valentines Day this year sort of piqued my interest and I went a little crazy doing research.

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