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2010 Brings New "Year of the Tiger"
One of the Twelve Animal Gods Revered by Koreans
By Juliet Shardlow
Staff Writer
Songhamaenghodo () or the Picture of Tiger under the Pine Tree by Danwon (Ӫ) Kim Hong-Do (Գ: 17451805). This painting is housed in Hoam Art Museum (ڸν) in Yongin south of Seoul.

2010 is the Year of The Tiger , according to the Korean Zodiac. Having been a dormant sign for the past twelve years, Tigers are due to come into the limelight on February the 14th, in alignment with the Lunar Calendar. The most recent years of prominence for the sign were 1998, 1986, 1974 and 1962.

According to the Zodiac, we learn alot about people through which 'sign' they were born under. A person born in a certain year and at a certain time has a particular animal characteristic. It has been believed that one's destiny and personality rely on one's character, which is based on the Korean zodiac system. When making decisions in life such as career, finance and marriage, it is common to get advice from fortune-tellerswho interpret fortune or destiny using the animal zodiac.

Tiger people are apparently sensitive, given to deep thinking, capable of great sympathy. They can be extremely short-tempered, however. Other people have great respect for them, but sometimes tiger people come into conflict with older people or those in authority. Sometimes Tiger people cannot make up their minds, which can result in a poor, hasty decision or a sound decision arrived at too late.

Tigers are suspicious of others, but they are courageous and powerful. 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.Their practicality makes them good businesspeople, but also capable of defending children, friends, and loved ones against all enemies.

The Zodiac also gives a clear idea for some people of potential partners, as signs can find out which others are 'compatible' with them. Tigers are apparently most compatible with Horses, Dragons, and Dogs.

For the Tiger in 2010, any recent setbacks or obstacles can be overcome, so they should look forward to a year in which to really shine, either personally or professionally. Celebrities born under the sign of the tiger include Emily Bronte, Leonardo DiCaprio Karl Marx, Marilyn Monroe, Marco Polo and Queen Elizabeth II.

The origins of this Zodiac are not entirely clear, although a popular tale is based upon a legend about Buddha. The legend goes that Buddha invited all the animals of the world to visit him, and only 12 animals showed up. He honored these creatures by naming the years after them according to the order in which they are arrived. So the 12 animals came to symbolize each year.

Yet each animal character also indicates a specific time and direction by 12 division cycles. For instance, every day is divided into segmented hours, two of which are allocated to each animal - these are 'prosperous' times of day relating to that particular sign. Also, each character represents 30 degrees of direction in a compass.

Korean Zodiac of 12 Animal Characters

The Year of the Rat

The Year of the Rat:1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996. People born in the Year of the Rat are cheerful, thrifty, and resourceful. Bright and sociable, they are often very successful in business or politics. Although they guard their own secrets, they love to gossip about others. They can be generous at times, but their generosity extends only to those closest to them. Their compatible signs are Dragon, Monkey, and Ox.

The Year of the Ox

The Year of the Ox:1913, 1925, 1037, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997. People born in the Year of the Ox are hardworking, dependable, and down-to-earth. They are also quiet, methodical, and patient but are known for their fierce temper and stubbornness as well. Their most compatible signs are Snake, Rat, and Rooster.

The Year of the Tiger

The Year of the Tiger:1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998. People born in the Year of the Tiger are courageous, sincere, and affectionate. They also have a tendency to be suspicious, quick-tempered, and unpredictable. They inspire great respect in people but often come into conflict with elders or those in authority. Their practicality makes them good businesspeople. Horse is their most compatible sign. Other compatible signs are Dragon, Pig, and Dog.

The Year of the Rabbit

The Year of the Rabbit:1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999. People born in the Year of the Rabbit are virtuous, considerate, lucky, and easily moved by the problems and misfortunes of others. They are also known for their excellent taste. Being naturally cautious, they make good businesspeople. Their compatible signs are Snake, Monkey, and Horse.

The Year of the Dragon

The Year of the Dragon:1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000. People born in the Year of the Dragon are energetic, humorous, capable, and idealistic.
Their decisiveness can at times make them seem overconfident, but they do inspire confidence and trust. They are also quite excitable, short-tempered, and stubborn. Their compatible signs are Monkey, Rat, and Rooster.

The Year of the Snake

The Year of the Snake:1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001. People born in the Year of the Snake possess great wisdom as well as charming personality. However, they also tend to be vain, selfish, and even a bit stingy. Lucky in financial matters, they seldom have to worry about money. At times, they are moved to help those who are less fortunate. Their compatible signs are Ox, Rooster, and Dragon.

The Year of the Horse

The Year of the Horse:1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978: 1990, 2002. People born in the Year of Horse are cheerful, active, and popular. They generally don't worry, and they adapt easily to different situations. They also tend to be fickle and overly talkative. Their ability to quickly analyze situations and handle business matters makes them good bankers and businesspeople. Their compatible signs are Tiger and Dog.

The Year of the Sheep

The Year of the Sheep:1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003. People born in the Year of the Sheep are gentle, compassionate, and often shy. They are also pessimistic and easily confused. Although they are born worriers, they are also quick to forget about their troubles. Their luck frequently brings them fortune as people leave them money in their wills. Their compatible signs are Horse, Pig, and Rabbit.

The Year of the Monkey

The Year of the Monkey:1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004. People born in the Year of the Monkey are quick-witted, versatile, and unique. They are good at making decisions but tend to look down on other people. Their ambitious drive often brings them wealth and fame. They are born innovators and also make good linguists. Their compatible signs are Dragon and Rat.

The Year of the Rooster

The Year of the Rooster:1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993. 2005. People born in the Year of the Rooster are often misunderstood. They are seemingly aggressive, self-assured, and even reckless, but are true conservatives at heart. They generally tend to promise more than they can give. They love to travel and to try different life-styles. They tend to have a moody disposition, and their fortunes, like their moods, swing high and low. Their compatible signs are Snake, Dragon, and Ox.

The Year of the Dog

The Year of the Dog:1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006. People who are born in the Year of the Dog are said to be intelligent and organized. They have a great sense of humor and are known for their loyalty and feeling of responsibility. They are also secretive and somewhat selfish and stubborn. Their honesty and fairness make them good judges. Their compatible signs are Horse, Tiger, Rabbit, and Pig.

The Year of the Pig

The Year of the Pig:1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995., 2007. People born in theYear of the Pig are courageous, loyal, and thoughtful. They also have a great thirst for knowledge. Quick-tempered and introverted, they have a hard time making friends, but their friendships are lasting. Sometimes they tend to be too honest for their own good. Not good at business, they are more suited to literature and the arts. Their compatible signs are Rabbit, Sheep, Dog, and Dragon.

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Juliet Shardlow serves as staff writer for The Seoul Times. She graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2009 with a BA Hons in Philosophy. Whilst at University, she wrote for student publications 'TCS' and 'Varsity', and was news editor for the satirical paper 'The Sanctuary'. Before moving to Seoul, she was employed by the Royal Geographical Society in London. She is a foreign correspondent for 'Foroyaa' newspaper in The Gambia, and also contributes to another West African Paper, 'The Point'.






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