Chinese New Year, The Year Of The Tiger


On February 14th, 2010, it officially became the year of The Tiger. What does this mean?

While this past Sunday signified that cloying Hallmark holiday synonymous with roses, hearts and the reminder that, yes, we are STILL SINGLE, a much more interesting holiday was quietly taking place—the Chinese New Year.

The Chinese New Year kicked off on Valentine's Day this time around, but changes annually depending on the lunisolar calender. The beginning date can be anywhere between January 21st and February 20th. The 15-day holiday is historically a celebration of the time when Chinese villagers scared away the wild beast, Nien. According to Chinese mythology, Nien was a trechorous man-eating monster that would storm the village and murder its townspeople. The beast was frightened by loud noises and the color red—which is why celebrations now include red costuming and fireworks.

While Western astrology divides us all up into 12 categories based on 30-day cycles, the Chinese divide us into 12 categories by year. On February 14th, 2010, it officially became the year of The Tiger. Tigers, not too unlike their feline namesakes, are thought to be rebellious, colorful, passionate, impulsive and vigorous.

The Tiger's motto is "I Win" and, according to The Financial Standard:

"Jonathan Wu, head of distribution and operations at Premium China Funds Management, said the Year of the Tiger could mean markets will be in for a year of volatility, reminiscent of the Tiger's "energetic" characteristic."

Uh oh.