To the Chinese, it is the start of the Golden Tiger Year. The Tiger is the third sign in the cycle of Chinese Zodiac, which consists of 12 animal signs. It is a sign of courage. This fearless and fiery fighter is revered by the ancient Chinese as the sign that wards off the three main disasters of a household: fire, thieves and ghosts. On New Year's day itself, it is beneficial to celebrate, to be happy, to have smiling faces, and to refrain from scowling, quarreling, or criticizing anyone.
The Tiger is one of the most beautiful creatures on the planet, and is feared and revered in equal measure. It features in many Asian cultures as a manifestation of courage, power, passion and royalty. In Feng Shui, it is one of the four celestial animals where it takes its place as the White Tiger. The other three celestial animals are the Green Dragon, Red Phoenix and Black Tortoise. The Tiger symbolizes the female Yin energy as opposed to the Yang male energy of the dragon. Ancient Chinese believe that the markings on the forehead of tigers resemble the Chinese character for "Wang", or King. In Imperial China, where the dragon is the insignia of the emperors, the tiger is the military emblem of the highest supreme commanders of the army symbolizing fearlessness and victory.
The Tiger also represents earth, while the dragon represents Heaven. The powerful and stealth prowess of the Tiger inspires the martial art movements of manyKung-Fu masters.