2022 Year of the Tiger(Water)

如果你过去关注过春节,那么你可能会对其中的鞭炮、饺子、红包和无处不在的红色装饰品有所了解。除此之外,在世界各地的唐人街,每当农历新年到来时,还会有舞狮、舞龙和游行以庆祝。然而,除了所有这些之外,许多人发现自己对另一件事感到好奇:十二生肖。

2022 年是虎年,您可能会问:

  • 虎在十二生肖中有什么意义?
  • 我怎么知道我是不是虎年出生?
  • 虎年出生的人是什么样的?

虎年历史

关于虎年的来历,有很多故事和解释,但其中最流行的是这样的: 

原来,十二生肖中没有老虎,取而代之的狮子。狮子野蛮辱骂,  玉皇大帝想用老虎代替狮子。此时,地球上的生灵发生了巨大的动荡,但正因如此,玉皇大帝派因老虎而生。到人间治理动乱,承诺一次,就得到奖励。到了骚才知道,决定马是地上最能做人间服后,老虎才赢。所以,并驯服他们平息。 


虎年

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。

当然,为了方便起见,我们列出了当前最相关的虎年:

  • 1950
  • 1962年
  • 1974年
  • 1986年
  • 1998
  • 2010
  • 2022
  • 2034
  • 2046

虎年出生的人的性格特点

中国十二生肖中最有趣的部分之一与西方占星术系统相似,即人格特征;每个人都希望了解自己的十二生肖代表什么样的性格。在我们之前的一个视频系列中,制作甜点和学习十二生肖,简要讨论了每个星座的主要性格特征。

在大多数情况下,与每个星座相关的人格特征来自人们对动物本身的印象。例如,老虎被视为勇敢、强大、威武、具有良好的生存本能,通常被称为“百兽之王”。因此,虎年出生的人自然被描述为重个人忠诚,威风凛凛,勇敢等。但这也许正是因为虎年出生的人比他们乐于将自己与这些特征联系起来,因此他们最终会培养出相似的个性。 

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

一山不容二虎 

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

虎头蛇尾 

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

虎背熊腰 

Tiger’s back, bear’s waist

Describes someone with a sturdy and solid physique.

shēng lóng huó hǔ

生龙活虎 

doughty as a dragon, lively as a tiger

Describes someone who is particularly lively and full of vim and vigor.

cáng lóng wò hǔ

藏龙卧虎 

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

龙潭虎穴 

Dragon’s pool, tiger’s den

Describes a dangerous place, comparing them to the places where dragons and tigers live.

与老虎有关的许多表达方式都带有正面含义,但同时也有一些带有
负面含义的表达方式。尤其要注意的是,在中国东北,如果单纯用虎(hǔ)来形容一个人,就暗示这个人做事不小心,有点笨,做事不顾危险。是。所以,如果你在中国东北,不要随便称任何人为老虎!

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