Tuesday, February 1, 2022

The Year of the Black Tiger!

by Adeline Panamaroff

The Lunar New Year of 2022 celebrates the tiger. In Korea, however, this is the year of the black tiger. What makes this year special you may ask? Well, traditionally people born in the year of the tiger, one of the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals, have been seen by Koreans as exhibiting characteristics of fearlessness, adventurousness and restless energy. The Korean word for this zodiac year is iminnyeon (임인년), a combination of three concepts. “Im” (임) is the Chinese symbol for black, “in” (인) is the Chinese symbol for tiger, and “nyeon” (년) is the Korean word for year. 

Tiger plate, created by HanjiNaty, available in the Etsy boutique

Tigers are revered in Korea as the form that one of the founding deities of the nation took when entering into a challenge with a bear. According to the legend, if both mammals could eat only mugwort for 100 days, they would take on human form. Part way through the tiger lost patience and withdrew from the contest. In many Korean folk tales tigers are also seen as deities of mountains. The origins of this probably lay in the fact that Korea, a land of many mountains, once had a large tiger population. This is why the tiger is used so often as a mascot for national sports teams and organisations, to show the world Korea’s fearless fighting spirit. 

Tissue box case by HanjiNaty

Part of ringing in the new year in Korea is seeing the animal that the zodiac cycle focuses on. For many, this includes a visit to local zoos or art galleries that may feature exhibits that showcase the animal in question. Seeing examples of tigers in zoos and in art is considered a way to bestow luck in the viewer. Hanging paintings of tigers around one’s home is also seen as a way to dispel evil energies. No matter how you choose to celebrate the year of the tiger, 2022 promises to be full of adventure and lively energy thanks to the influence of all the people in your life who were born in the year of this zodiac animal. 

Tiger pen holder, created by HanjiNaty, available in the Etsy boutique

Adeline Panamaroff is a freelance writer located in Edmonton, Alberta. Her writing can be found in such places as Yatta-Tachi, Anime News Network, and the Edmonton Stitcher. To find out more about her work go to www.adelinepanamaroff.com





No comments:

Post a Comment