Tiger - a symbol and good luck charm for the coming 2022 year

A certain animal patronizes each coming year according the Chinese Luni-solar calendar, and each of them provide luck and success to persons with certain qualities. In 2022, a black (or blue) Water Tiger that follows White Metal Bull will be the patron of the year. According to Chinese tradition, the Year of the Tiger will begin on February 1, 2022 and will last until January 21, 2023, but we are  preparing for its coming in advance. Moreover, in Russia its approaching will traditionally be celebrated on December 31.

The character of the animal-symbol primarily characterizes the next year. As for the tiger, despite its predatism and aggressiveness with the enemies, the tiger is a dignified and intimate animal. Nevertheless, the main character trait a tiger is courage. The majority of people are familiar with the concepts of symbols of the year, we all know the animal-patron of the birth year, and some of us are even interested in the zodiacal year characteristics, correlating them with the personal ones. The tiger is by no means a savage animal. It is a predator - active, constantly in search of a prey. The tiger personifies energy. The year under is sign will be the same - bright, energetic and unpredictable. In Chinese mythology, a Tiger is often compared to a pulled bowstring. At any moment, the arrow can fly out and reach the target.

The word “tiger” in Russian comes from the ancient Greek τίγρις, which in turn goes back to the ancient Persian “tigri” from the root “taig” meaning “sharp”, “fast”, “and pointed”. A tiger belongs to feline family and is one of the largest terricole predators, second in weight only to white and brown bears. Naturally, the tiger is popular as an object of art in the regions of its habitat. In the Far East, China, Japan, India, etc.

In India and south-eastern Asia, a tiger is esteemed as the king of beasts, thus in these regions it is entrusted with the symbolic functions that the lion and bear perform in the West. Through mythological images and legends, the tiger gained fame far beyond its habitat zones. In ancient mythology, a tiger is mentioned as the elder beast of merriment and winemaking. The images of a tiger appeared in armoury and in the European painting, for example, in African hunting scenes by Eugene Delacroix and in the painting by Peter Paul Rubens "The Lion Hunt" (1618). In Western European literature, the attitude towards tigers was ambiguous. Thus, Rudyard Kipling in “The Jungle Book” portrayed the tiger as a guileful and menacing animal. Gilbert Chesterton called a tiger "the personification of woeful grace".* At the same time, children's book writer Alan Milne, in his work about Winnie the Pooh, created the attractive and cheerful character - Tigger. The most renowned depiction of a tiger in the European tradition is considered the Salvador Dali painting "Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening" (1944) featuring gorgeous image of tigers remote from reality.

Today we are remembering a tiger as a symbol and good luck charm of the coming year as a playful sign of the holiday. The sweet, bright and long-awaited holiday is coming – the New Year. The symbol of 2022 is the Blue Water Tiger.

Congratulating all museum Collection friends on the New Year, we invite you to take another glance at The Lying Tiger by Mario Buccellati, realised in the amazing original technique “fur and feathers”.

* Jorge Luis Borges: Conversations. University Press of Mississippi, 1998