Gold tiger figurine

Year of the Tiger: Everything You Need to Know

As of the first of February, we'll be roaring into the '20s with the Year of the Tiger. But what does it mean to be born under this third sign of the Chinese zodiac, what's in store for this upcoming year, and what do baby shoes have to do with it? Let's find out!

When is the Year of the Tiger?

The Year of the Tiger starts Feb. 1, 2022 and lasts until until Jan. 21, 2023. Since the Lunar New Year follows the, you guessed it, lunar calendar, the dates according to the solar or Gregorian calendar (the one most commonly used) shift every year. And because the Chinese zodiac runs on a 12-year cycle, your animal comes up every dozen years.

Not sure if you’re the Year of the Tiger? Check out our handy zodiac chart.

The tiger's personality

People born in a tiger year are thought to be brave, confident, charming, and well-liked. Decisive and authoritative, they make good leaders and never go back on their word.

However, they can also be stubborn, rarely changing their minds. They hate to fail and can be very competitive. Tough judges of character, they can be overly frank, but at the same time have a strong sense of fairness and justice.

The tiger king

In Chinese culture, the tiger is considered a king among animals. The striped pattern on its forehead has been interpreted as the character wang (王), which means "king." You'll often see that character in depictions of tigers in Chinese art.

Tigers and babies

Tigers have significance in Chinese culture beyond the zodiac. Tiger booties and hats are often gifted to babies and children as a form of protection against evil spirits. They may be given to babies in celebration of their 100 days milestone, and to children of all ages for Lunar New Year.

What's up for 2022?

When your animal year comes up in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac, that’s called ben ming nian. During that time, it’s believed that you’re more vulnerable to adversity. For this year, tigers are advised to be prepared and more careful than their natural dispositions. While they should have good luck in their careers and love lives as well as stable wealth and health, they, and everyone, should ready themselves for an unpredictable year.

2022 is the year of the Water Tiger, two wild signs. It may be a time for strong emotions, during which you may want to take risks based on your passions, or which may be a time for negative feelings getting out of control. Joanna Lee and Ken Smith, the authors behind the annual pocket Chinese almanac, are also predicting a tough year full of controversies, "petty people," and lots of ups and down. So best be prepared and hang on tight! 

Famous tigers

Were you born the Year of the Tiger? You might be pleased to know Buddhist monk, philosopher, and peace activist Thích Nhất Hạnh is a tiger too, as are martial arts legend Sonny Chiba (Kill Bill, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift); actors Jenna Ushkowitz (Glee), Jean Yoon (Kim's Convenience), and Lou Diamond Phillips (La Bamba and just about everything else); silver screen legends Tony Leung and Michelle Yeoh; and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang.

Learn more about the animals of the Chinese zodiac.
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