The Chinese Zodiac is based on the traditional lunar calendar used to determine holidays in China and some nearby Asian countries. The lunar calendar is a 12-year cycle in which each year is represented by a different animal sign. The Royal Canadian Mint is releasing a new series of collectable Chinese zodiac coins starting in 2022. For the next 12 years, a new coin will be released annually featuring the animal sign for that year. The zodiac animal for 2022 is the tiger, and the first coin in the series reflects the importance of the animal in Chinese culture.
How Did the Tiger Become Part of the Chinese Zodiac?
In ancient times, Chinese people may have perceived certain animals as deities deserving of reverence. The worship of animals is called zoolatry, and the Chinese zodiac system may have originated from such beliefs. Each animal is believed to have certain powers, and people born in the year of a certain zodiac sign are believed to have particular qualities because of the influence that the animal has on them at birth.
The Jade Emperor is a significant figure in Chinese mythology, and according to one legend, the Chinese zodiac stems from a gathering that he held at his residence and invited multiple animal guests to. Each animal’s place in the zodiac was determined by the order in which it arrived. According to the legend, the tiger was the third, after the rat and the ox. The rat was first because it climbed up onto the ox’s back before the ox set out and only jumped down in front of it upon seeing the Jade Emperor.
What Does the Tiger Mean in Chinese Culture?
While Western cultures regard the lion as the king of the beasts, the tiger is considered as such in China. It is associated with courage, kindness, confidence, charm, creativity, and persistence. People born under this sign are believed to have similar qualities. Supposedly, they are adventurous and inclined to be kind and benevolent, but they are capable of defending themselves and may be temperamental.
Tigers are generally considered to be a lucky symbol, even for people born under other zodiac signs. In particular, tigers are believed to provide protection from evil to infants and babies. To take advantage of this protection, people dress their young children in hats and shoes with tiger designs. They also give cloth tigers as toys to babies.
What Is the Significance of the Tiger Coin Design?
Created by Canadian artist Lily Kao, the design of the tiger coin represents its significance to Chinese culture in several different ways. The coin bears the Chinese character for “tiger,” but rather than depicting a real specimen, it depicts a cloth tiger toy of the type given to infants to wish them protection and future prosperity. The stylized design has an air of youthful innocence because of its wide, grinning mouth and big eyes, and it is crouched in a playful pouncing position, suggesting the personality traits that people born under the tiger sign are supposed to possess. The marks on the cloth tiger’s forehead recreate the Chinese character for “king,” representing the place of honour that the tiger holds in the animal kingdom according to Chinese tradition. This is the first coin that Lily Kao has designed for the Royal Canadian Mint.
Why Do Chinese Zodiac Coins Make Good Gifts?
Because an individual’s Chinese zodiac sign is supposed to be lucky for him or her, this would be a good gift for anyone born in the Year of the Tiger. The belief in the tiger as the guardian of children and the cloth tiger design makes it an especially thoughtful baby gift for a newborn arriving in 2022. Nevertheless, the coin could commemorate any significant event occurring next year. Find out more about how to purchase this coin from Colonial Acres.