The Year of the Tiger Comes Roaring In

February 12, 2010

Let’s get the obvious play on words out of the way.

Last year was a terrible one for golfer Tiger Woods. A November car crash outside his Florida home jarred open a Pandora’s box of alleged mistresses – a dozen had surfaced at last count – and tarnished the carefully cultivated, squeaky-clean, guy next-door image of golf ’s most famous figure, calling into question his future in the sport.

But if 2009 wasn’t the year of Tiger, 2010 is the Year of the Tiger.

Sunday kicks off the year 4708 in the lunar Chinese calendar, which begins on the second new moon following the winter solstice. (Korea and Vietnam use the same event to mark their new years too.) That makes it a January or February event in the secular Gregorian calendar.

The Chinese zodiac follows a 12-year cycle, with each year bearing the name and character of an animal. Tradition holds that people share the personality of the animal marking the year they were born.

According to Chinese astrology, people born during the Year of the Tiger share the zesty traits of their real-life animal counterparts.

A yen for excitement and fast pace marks their lives. Luck comes their way, although their tendency to pounce too quickly and sometimes recklessly can bring misfortune too.

The cast of famous tigers, past and present, includes Ludwig van Beethoven, Emily Brontë, Fidel Castro, Agatha Christie, Tom Cruise, Miles Davis, Charles de Gaulle, Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Dickinson, Hugh Hefner, Jerry Lewis, Karl Marx, Marilyn Monroe, Alanis Morrissette, Ogden Nash, John Steinbeck, Dylan Thomas, Oscar Wilde, Stevie Wonder and Natalie Wood.

But our own personal favorite tiger? Any self-respecting Costa Rican publication would select Tico-Gringo astronaut-physicist Franklin Chang.

Tiger years present mixed bags for the other zodiac creatures. Tigers are natural predators of many of the animals, so it’s a year to exercise caution if you are one of these. But if you’re a horse or dragon, you share the tiger’s speed, so expect a fast-paced year (see 2010 Forecast).

While new-year celebrations last for two weeks in Asia, Costa Rica’s community generally marks the first day of the year only, and two of central San José’s premier Asian restaurants will hold special events on Sunday. (That’s also Valentine’s Day, so reservations are recommended.)

Don Wang (Ca. 11, Av. 6/8, 2233-6484) will offer special menus and Chinese horoscopes all day, with special dance presentations.

Next door, Tin Jo (Ca. 11, Av. 6/8, 2221-7605) will also serve special menus all day, including in its new dining-room addition on the south side of the building. (The official inauguration will come at a later date.)

 

2010 Forecast

Rat (1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008): The tiger is a big cat, and you’re a tiny rat. Tread carefully this year. Don’t pick fights. Err on the side of caution in investments.

 

Ox (1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009): You’re plodding and methodical, but it serves you well, especially during fast-paced tiger years. Don’t get caught up in the whirlwind.

Tiger (1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974,1986, 1998, 2010): You rule. You rock. This is your year. But tigers often overdo it during their own years. A bit of caution will prevent that crash-and-burn phenomenon that can plague your fellow felines.

 

Rabbit (1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999): Tiger years can throw rabbits a roadblock or two. Don’t be discouraged. Perseverance overcomes difficulties.

 

Dragon (1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000): The tiger is your only competitor for flash and pizzazz. This is the tiger’s year though, so exercise some restraint on your impulses.

 

Snake (1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001): Act like a snake during tiger years: Lay low and strike quickly when opportunity presents itself. But slither away at the first sign of trouble.

 

Horse (1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002): Your speed is your advantage, but the fast pace of a tiger year might create too much whirlwind. Slow from a gallop to a trot if necessary.

 

Ram (1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003): Rams face challenges during tiger years. Cooperation and some wariness in business dealings and new friendships serve you well.

 

Monkey (1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004): Tigers can attack, so this is not the year for mischievous monkeyshines. Lay low, exercise caution, and avoid confrontation.

 

Rooster (1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005): Avoid strutting too much this year lest the tiger notice you and eat you. Diplomacy is your best friend.

 

Dog (1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006): Ride the tiger. Dogs do well during tiger years, sometimes better than during dog years themselves. A little risk might pay off.

 

Pig (1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007): Pigs find tiger years to be lucky ones, with one key caveat: Evaluate situations carefully. That extra prudence will pay off in the end.

 

Adapted from www.chinese.astrology.com

 

 

Rat (1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008): The tiger is a big cat, and you’re a tiny rat. Tread carefully this year. Don’t pick fights. Err on the side of caution in investments.

 

Ox (1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009): You’re plodding and methodical, but it serves you well, especially during fast-paced tiger years. Don’t get caught up in the whirlwind.

Tiger (1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974,1986, 1998, 2010): You rule. You rock. This is your year. But tigers often overdo it during their own years. A bit of caution will prevent that crash-and-burn phenomenon that can plague your fellow felines.

 

Rabbit (1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999): Tiger years can throw rabbits a roadblock or two. Don’t be discouraged. Perseverance overcomes difficulties.

 

Dragon (1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000): The tiger is your only competitor for flash and pizzazz. This is the tiger’s year though, so exercise some restraint on your impulses.

 

Snake (1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001): Act like a snake during tiger years: Lay low and strike quickly when opportunity presents itself. But slither away at the first sign of trouble.

 

Horse (1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002): Your speed is your advantage, but the fast pace of a tiger year might create too much whirlwind. Slow from a gallop to a trot if necessary.

 

Ram (1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003): Rams face challenges during tiger years. Cooperation and some wariness in business dealings and new friendships serve you well.

 

Monkey (1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004): Tigers can attack, so this is not the year for mischievous monkeyshines. Lay low, exercise caution, and avoid confrontation.

 

Rooster (1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005): Avoid strutting too much this year lest the tiger notice you and eat you. Diplomacy is your best friend.

 

Dog (1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006): Ride the tiger. Dogs do well during tiger years, sometimes better than during dog years themselves. A little risk might pay off.

 

Pig (1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007): Pigs find tiger years to be lucky ones, with one key caveat: Evaluate situations carefully. That extra prudence will pay off in the end.

 

Adapted from www.chinese.astrology.com

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