很多人上网查虎年是哪一年，但很多人不知道的是，你只需要简单的计算一下就可以确定哪些年份是虎年或任何十二生肖。事情。不过，在进入如何计算之前，我们需要先说明的是，十二生肖与农历有关。例如，如果某人出生于 2022 年 1 月 31 日，则此人实际上不会出生在虎年。相反，他们会出生在牛年。这是因为阳历2022年2月1日对应2022年农历正月初一。直到这一天，我们才正式进入虎年。
更有趣的是，在中国古代，人们将立春（lì chūn）“立春”视为新年的第一天。因此，我们现在将每年这个时候的春节（chūn jié）命名为“春节”。直到 1912 年，孙中山（sūn zhōng shān）“孙中山”政府才将较早的元旦（yuán dàn）“元旦”（即今天的西方新年）定为阳历第一个月的第一天（一月）。同时，他将农历正月初一定为春节（chūn jié）“春节”。从此，立春不再与春节相对应，而被简单地视为另一个节气。然而，因为立春通常与春节同时到来，春天的到来总是伴随着欢乐的气氛。正因为如此，许多人认为最准确的计算生肖的方法是根据立春（lì chūn）的日期。但是，文化通常是通俗习惯化的，因此以春节（chūn jié）的日期计算也是合理的。你会用哪种方法计算？
说起怎么计算，其实方法很简单，就是取年份，减去6，再除以12；如果结果是一个整数，那么你肯定会知道这是虎年。以 2022 年为例——我们首先减去 6 得到 2016，然后再除以 12，得到 168，这是一个整数，告诉我们今年是虎年。如果你想知道其他年份，你需要做的就是按照十二生肖的顺序调整计算。例如，牛在十二生肖中排在第 5 位，所以当我们进行计算时，我们会先减去 5，然后除以 12。再一次，如果答案是一个整数，我们就知道这是牛年。
This may actually be a natural psychological response, using the positive aspects of something to subtly change one’s thinking, and thus influence their personality. So, understanding the personalities of those born in the Year of the Tiger may actually aid in manifesting those very personality traits. What, then, are the positive qualities associated with people born in the Year of the Tiger? They can be summarized as follows:
- Possesses a vigorous, youthful spirit and lofty aspirations.
- Bold of vision and courageous in action, not afraid to broaden their horizons.
- Enthusiastic and magnanimous with a tenacious self-confidence.
- Possesses a sense of justice and is happy to help others.
- Charismatic with a regal demeanor.
- Loves adventure.
While each of the zodiac signs possesses positive qualities, they also naturally embody certain negative qualities and shortcomings. For those born in the Year of the Tiger, some of the areas of improvement are summarized as follows:
- Prone to doing things carelessly, or in a perfunctory way.
- Tends towards short tempers and stubbornness.
- Tends to want to possess or have authority over people/things.
- When met with difficulties, they tend to prefer shouldering the burden or grief alone.
Of course, these personality descriptions are only generalizations; and in fact, in Chinese culture, the formation of an individual’s personality is subject to many variables, such as what time of day they were born, which elemental property is dominant in a given year, and even what name they are given.
Year of the Water Tiger
An especially noteworthy point is that the year 2022 is the Year of the Water Tiger, which only occurs every 60 years. The water tiger is a comparatively complicated notion, but if you’re already familiar with the Chinese five elements then it will be easier to understand. Each of the five elements corresponds to two 天干 (tiān gān) “heavenly stems”, which are used in combination with 地支 (dì zhī) “the earthly branches”, to delineate a 60-year calendrical cycle (5 x 12 = 60).
The 天干 (tiān gān) “heavenly stems” are an ordinal system used for indicating the first, second, third, etc. These days, Chinese people still use this ordinal system as they did before, but only for smaller numbers and typically only in indicating people (as in a scripted dialogue). For example: 甲 (jiǎ) “first”, 乙 (yǐ) “second”, 丙 (bǐng) “third”, etc. The full list of 天干 (tiān gān) from first to last is as follows:
- 甲 (jiǎ) – first
- 乙 (yǐ) – second
- 丙 (bǐng) – third
- 丁 (dīng) – fourth
- 戊 (wù) – fifth
- 己 (jǐ) – sixth
- 庚 (gēng) – seventh
- 辛 (xīn) – eighth
- 壬 (rén) – ninth
- 癸 (gǔi) – tenth
The ten 天干 (tiān gān) are also matched with the five elements:
- 金 (jīn) – metal
- 木 (mù) – wood
- 水 (shǔi) – water
- 火 (huǒ) – fire
- 土 (tǔ) – earth
The final two of the heavenly stems, 壬 (rén) and 癸 (gǔi), are matched with water.
In addition to the 10 天干 (tiān gān), there are the 12 地支 (dì zhī) “earthly branches”, which are delineated by the 12 sections of the sky traversed by Jupiter through the course of its 12 year orbit around the sun. These 12 sections in order from first to last are:
- 子 (zǐ)
- 丑 (chǒu)
- 寅 (yín)
- 卯 (mǎo)
- 辰 (chén)
- 巳 (sì)
- 午 (wǔ)
- 未 (wèi)
- 申 (shēn)
- 酉 (yǒu)
- 戌 (xū)
- 亥 (hài)
Furthermore, these 12 branches are used in the names of each of the zodiac signs: 子鼠 (zǐ shǔ), 丑牛 (chǒu niú), 寅虎 (yín hǔ), etc. In this way the combination of the heavenly stems and earthly branches is used to measure the passage of years, with each cycle lasting 60 years. This means that the year 2022 is 壬寅虎 (rén yín hǔ), and because 壬 (rén) is associated with water, this year is called the Year of the Water Tiger.
Check out our previous blogpost, “Be Water, My Friend” – Even When Learning Chinese! , to learn how to apply Bruce Lee’s teachings about water to become a better Chinese learner!
Tiger Culture in Ancient China
In ancient China, the tiger symbolized boldness, valor, and dignity, and was seen as the king of all the beasts. Because of this, the tiger also symbolized power and honor. This is likely because the markings on a tiger’s head resemble the character 王 (wáng) “king”, and so the ancient monarchs had a particular fondness for the tiger. In ancient China, when the emperor sent his military forces to fight, the symbol of their imperial authority was made to look like a tiger, thus symbolizing their ferocity on the battlefield and their ability to win time and time again. Consequently, the symbol of imperial authority was also called the “Mark of the Tiger”.
Because the tiger symbolized boldness and valor, the ancient Chinese also used the tiger to describe those officers and solders who were fierce warriors and highly capable on the battlefield. During the Three Kingdoms period, there were the 五虎上将 (wǔ hǔ shàng jiàng) “the five great generals of Liu Bei”, characters who are familiar to most Chinese people to this day.
During the 宋代 (sòng dài) – “Song Dynasty”, there was a famous official named 包拯 (bāo zhěng) who was later regarded as a model for all officials because of his honesty and freedom from corruption. In many works of art, the three cleavers of 包拯 (bāo zhěng) are frequently referenced
- 龙头铡 (lóng tóu zhá) – the dragon-head cleaver
- 虎头铡 (hǔ tóu zhá) – the tiger-head cleaver
- 狗头铡 (gǒu tóu zhá) – the dog-head cleaver
Of these, 虎头铡 (hǔ tóu zhá) “the tiger-head cleaver” is used exclusively for the punishment of corrupt officials.
Beyond just symbolizing boldness, ferocity, dignity, and power – tigers also have a cute side to them. Chinese people will describe boys who are grow to be sturdy and honest as 虎头虎脑 (hǔ tóu hǔ nǎo) “strong and good-natured”, literally “tiger head, tiger essence”. But following developments over time, the use of this descriptor has gradually decreased, being largely replaced by words like 聪明 (cōng míng) “clever, smart” and 可爱 (kě ài) “cute, lovable”, largely because 虎头虎脑 (hǔ tóu hǔ nǎo) has come to imply “not terribly smart”.
Words & Phrases that Use the Character 虎 (hǔ) – Tiger
Many words in Chinese make use reference to animals, especially 成语 (chéng yǔ) “idioms”, and 虎 (hǔ) “tiger” is a frequently used one. The first 成语 (chéng yǔ) that most new learners of Chinese encounter is probably 马马虎虎 (mǎ mǎ hū hū) “passable, so-so, not so bad”, and the word 马虎 (mǎ hu) “careless, half-ass a job” was also explained in our video Make Desserts and Learn the Chinese Zodiac (Episode 3): Tiger and Rabbit Macarons. Other than 马马虎虎 (mǎ mǎ hū hū), there are plenty of other words and expressions related to the tiger, though in general they aren’t used all the often in daily life. Some of the more commonly used expressions are as follows:
yì shān bù róng èr hǔ
one mountain can’t contain two tigers
Used to describe two people who don’t get along, between whom there is often conflict. It’s also used to describe situations in which there can only be one winner.
hǔ tóu shé wěi
Tiger’s head, snake’s tail
Describes a person who starts strong, but can’t keep up the intensity while doing some task or project.
hǔ bèi xióng yāo
Tiger’s back, bear’s waist
Describes someone with a sturdy and solid physique.
shēng lóng huó hǔ
doughty as a dragon, lively as a tiger
Describes someone who is particularly lively and full of vim and vigor.
cáng lóng wò hǔ
crouching tiger, hidden dragon
Describes a place full of skilled and capable people. Also may be seen as: 卧虎藏龙 (wò hǔ cáng lóng)
lóng tán hǔ xué
Dragon’s pool, tiger’s den
Describes a dangerous place, comparing them to the places where dragons and tigers live.