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Throughout Chinese history, the tiger has incited a sense of both awe and admiration: its prowess, its ferocity, its beauty, and the harmony of the opposites. The tiger is full of life and embodies the spirit and drive to achieve and make progress.
The tiger has been common in the southern and northeastern China and is revered by the Chinese as a creature with many symbolic attributes. Each direction of the compass is traditionally believed to be ruled by a mythical creature; the White Tiger is the ruler of the West. The tiger is also associated with autumn, when it comes down from the mountains into villages, and is personified by the constellation Orion, which is prominent in autumn. In Chinese astrology, the star Alpha of the Great Bear constellation gave birth to the first tiger. The tiger represents the masculine principle in nature and is king of all the animals, as shown by the four stripes on his forehead, which form the character Wang (王), or King.The tiger is regarded as one of the four super-intelligent creatures, along with the dragon, phoenix and tortoise; for centuries, the four have been a major design motif in Chinese art.
In southern China, on the tiger's birthday, on the second moon in the lunar calendar, fixed in the Western calendar as March 6, women worship the White Tiger. They place paper images of the tiger in their homes to keep away rats and snakes and prevent quarrels. On this date, effigies of the tiger are also put in front of temple buildings for people to make offerings. The God of Wealth, the deified Marshal Chao Gongming (Chao Kungming), is depicted riding a black tiger and holding a silver ingot. The Chinese call an able general a "tiger general" and a brave soldier, a "tiger warrior".
In Chinese folk tales, tigers kill evil men and protect good men. Tiger charms are used to keep away disease and evil, and babies are given colourfully embroidered tiger shoes for protection. Tiger images frequently decorate children's clothing and tops. The "Tiger Claw" (hu chao) amulet is believed to ward off sudden fright and give the wearer the courage of the tiger. Because the tiger wards off disasters, it is popular as one of the nine gods worshipped at the New Year Festival. Tiger images are painted on the walls of homes and temples to keep away evil spirits. Dragon-Tiger Mountain is the name for the palace of the hereditary head of the Daoist religion, located in the Dragon Tiger Mountains of Jiangxi Province, east of the capital city of Nanchang. Zhang Daoling (Chang Tao-ling), the "First Master of Heaven" in the Daoist religion, is depicted riding a tiger and carrying a demon-dispelling sword as he escorts the dead to their final destination. A Daoist legend tells of two brothers who took on the role of protecting human beings by capturing demons and throwing them to tigers.
As the enemies of evil spirits, especially those who torment the dead, tigers are carved on tombs and monuments. The Chinese system of feng shui (geomancy) requires that a burial site be higher on the right side, the stronger side of the body, so that the White Tiger can guard it; the Azure Dragon guards the left side, the body's weaker side. The Tiger is the third animal in the 12-year animal Zodiac. People born in the Year of the Tiger are thought to be brave, strong, stubborn and sympathetic. The tiger represents the greatest earthly power, as well as protection over human life. It chases away the so-called "three disasters": fire, thieves and ghosts.
Ancient Chinese people believed that tigers turned white after they have lived for five centuries and that tigers could live for an entire millennium. It was also believed that upon the death of a tiger its spirit would enter the earth and become amber, this archaic belief inspired the original Chinese term for amber which was "Soul of the Tiger".
According to Chinese myths, five types of tigers balance the energy in the cosmos, preventing universe from chaos: Black tiger, governs the water element and rules during winter season; blue tiger, governs the earth element and rules during spring; red tiger, governs the fire element and rules during the summer; white tiger, governs the metal element and rules during autumn; and yellow tiger, rules all other tigers and symbolizes the sum.
The tiger is historically a Chinese cultural symbol. It has inspired imagination, stories, paintings, and poetry with the tiger: the earliest tiger statue was found in the Neolithic period in China 7000 years ago; the Year of the Tiger, tiger shoes or hats; the Tiger seal, Tiger Tally and Tiger General. There are also idioms and poetic renderings such as: Tiger roaring & dragon singing-the world is peaceful; Mountain and Valley replying- the people are wealthy and the country strong.
Islands in Taiwan (ROC) with namings referencing tigers include Hujing Island ('tiger well island') and Menghu Islet ('fierce tiger islet').
Chinese dragon, also known as Long or Lung, are legendary creatures in Chinese mythology, Chinese folklore, and culture at large. Chinese dragons have many animal-like forms such as turtles and fish, but are most commonly depicted as snake-like with four legs. They traditionally symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, typhoons, and floods. The dragon is also a symbol of power, strength, and good luck for people who are worthy of it in East Asian culture. During the days of Imperial China, the Emperor of China usually used the dragon as a symbol of his imperial strength and power.
Chinese mythology is mythology that has been passed down in oral form or recorded in literature in the geographic area now known as "China". Chinese mythology includes many varied myths from regional and cultural traditions. Chinese mythology is far from monolithic, not being an integrated system, even among just Han people. Chinese mythology is encountered in the traditions of various classes of people, geographic regions, historical periods including the present, and from various ethnic groups. China is the home of many mythological traditions, including that of Han Chinese and their Huaxia predecessors, as well as Tibetan mythology, Turkic mythology, Korean mythology, and many others. However, the study of Chinese mythology tends to focus upon material in Chinese language.
Chinese astrology is based on the traditional astronomy and calendars. Chinese astrology came to flourish during the Han Dynasty.
Buddhist symbolism is the method of Buddhist art to represent certain aspects of dharma, which began in the fourth century BCE. Anthropomorphic symbolism appeared from around the first century CE with the arts of Mathura the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara, and were combined with the previous symbols. Various symbolic innovations were later introduced, especially through Tibetan Buddhism.
In Western astrology, astrological signs are the twelve 30° sectors of the ecliptic, starting at the vernal equinox, also known as the First Point of Aries. The order of the astrological signs is Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. Each sector was named for a constellation it was passing through in times of naming.
Animal worship is rituals involving animals, such as the glorification of animal deities or animal sacrifice. When a god is respected or worshipped by means of a representative animal, an animal cult is formed. Animal cults may be classified according to their outward form or according to their inward meaning, which may of course undergo transformations.
Book of Imaginary Beings was written by Jorge Luis Borges with Margarita Guerrero and published in 1957 under the original Spanish title Manual de zoología fantástica. It was expanded in 1967 and 1969 in Spain to the final El libro de los seres imaginarios. The English edition, created in collaboration with translator Norman Thomas di Giovanni, contains descriptions of 120 mythical beasts from folklore and literature.
Korean gardens are natural, informal, simple and unforced, seeking to merge with the natural world. They have a history that goes back more than two thousand years, but are little known in the west. The oldest records date to the Three Kingdoms period when architecture and palace gardens showed a development noted in the Korean History of the Three Kingdoms.
The White Tiger is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations. It is sometimes called the White Tiger of the West, and is known as Baihu in Chinese, Byakko in Japanese, and Baekho in Korean. It represents the west in terms of direction and the autumn season.
The Four Symbols, are four mythological creatures appearing among the Chinese constellations along the ecliptic, and viewed as the guardians of the four cardinal directions. These four creatures are also referred to by a variety of other names, including "Four Guardians", "Four Gods", and "Four Auspicious Beasts". They are the Azure Dragon of the East, the Vermilion Bird of the South, the White Tiger of the West, and the Black Tortoise of the North. Each of the creatures is most closely associated with a cardinal direction and a color, but also additionally represents other aspects, including a season of the year, a virtue, and one of the Chinese "five elements". Each has been given its own individual traits and origin story. Symbolically, and as part of spiritual and religious belief, these creatures have been culturally important across countries in the East Asian cultural sphere.
Zilant is a legendary creature, something between a dragon and a wyvern. Since 1730, it has been the official symbol of Kazan. This winged snake is mentioned in legends about the foundation of Kazan.
Lotus Pond is an artificial lake and popular tourist destination on the east side of Zuoying District in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Opened in 1951, it is famous for the lotus plants on the lake and the numerous temples around the lake, including the Spring and Autumn Pavilions (春秋閣), the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas (龍虎塔), and the Confucian Temple (孔廟).
Taotie (饕餮) are ancient Chinese mythological creatures that were commonly emblazoned on bronze and other artifacts during the 1st millennium BC. Taotie are one of the "four evil creatures of the world". In Chinese classical texts such as the "Classic of Mountains and Seas", the fiend is named alongside the Hundun (混沌), Qiongqi (窮奇) and Taowu (梼杌). They are opposed by the Four Holy Creatures, the Azure Dragon, Vermilion Bird, White Tiger and Black Tortoise. The four fiends are also juxtaposed with the four benevolent animals which are Qilin (麒麟), Dragon (龍), Turtle (龜) and Fenghuang (鳳凰).
Turtles are frequently depicted in popular culture as easygoing, patient, and wise creatures. Due to their long lifespan, slow movement, sturdiness, and wrinkled appearance, they are an emblem of longevity and stability in many cultures around the world. Turtles are regularly incorporated into human culture, with painters, photographers, poets, songwriters, and sculptors using them as subjects. They have an important role in mythologies around the world, and are often implicated in creation myths regarding the origin of the Earth. Sea turtles are a charismatic megafauna and are used as symbols of the marine environment and environmentalism.
The Chinese zodiac is a classification scheme based on the lunar calendar that assigns an animal and its reputed attributes to each year in a repeating 12-year cycle. The 12-year cycle is an approximation to the 11.85-year orbital period of Jupiter. Originating from China, the zodiac and its variations remain popular in many Asian countries, such as Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.
Yansheng Coins, commonly known as Chinese numismatic charms, refer to a collection of special decorative coins that are mainly used for rituals such as fortune telling, Chinese superstitions, and Feng shui. They originated during the Western Han dynasty as a variant of the contemporary Ban Liang and Wu Zhu cash coins. Over the centuries they evolved into their own commodity, with many different shapes and sizes. Their use was revitalized during the Republic of China era. Normally, these coins are privately funded and cast by a rich family for their own ceremonies, although a few types of coins have been cast by various governments or religious orders over the centuries. Chinese numismatic charms typically contain hidden symbolism and visual puns. Unlike cash coins which usually only contain two or four Hanzi characters on one side, Chinese numismatic charms often contain more characters and sometimes pictures on the same side.
The tiger has been strongly associated with Korean people and Korean culture. It appears in not only the Korean foundation mythology but also in folklore, as well as a favorite subject of Korean art such as painting and sculpture. The mascot of the 1988 Summer Olympics held in Seoul, South Korea is Hodori, a stylized tiger to represent Korean people.
Snakes are an important motif in Chinese mythology. There are various myths, legends, and folk tales about snakes. Chinese mythology refers to these and other myths found in the historical geographic area(s) of China. These myths include Chinese and other languages, as transmitted by Han Chinese as well as other ethnic groups. Snakes often appear in myth, religion, legend, or tales as fantastic beings unlike any possible real snake, often having a mix of snake with other body parts, such as having a human head, or magical abilities, such as shape shifting. One famous snake that was able to transform back and forth between a snake and a human being was Madam White Snake in the Legend of the White Snake. Other snakes or snakelike beings sometimes include deities, such as Fuxi and Nüwa and Gong Gong. Sometimes Fuxi and Nuwa are described as snakes with human heads and sometimes as humans with dragon or serpent tails...
Horses are an important motif in Chinese mythology. There are many myths about horses or horse-like beings, including the pony. Chinese mythology refers to those myths found in the historical geographic area of China. This includes myths in Chinese and other languages, as transmitted by Han Chinese as well as other ethnic groups. There are various motifs of horses in Chinese mythology. In some cases the focus is on a horse or horses as the protagonist of the action, in other cases they appear in a supporting role, sometimes as the locomotive power propelling a chariot and its occupant(s). According to a cyclical Chinese calendar system, the time period of 31 January 2014 - 18 February 2015 falls under the category of the (yang) Wood Horse.
Taoist coin charms, or Daoist coin charms are a family of categories of Chinese and Vietnamese numismatic charms that incorporate elements of the Taoist religion. Taoist coin charms come in various shapes, sizes, and formats and can contain inscriptions or wholly pictorial designs. While a large number of Taoist coin charms have their inscriptions written in traditional Chinese characters, a subset of Taoist coin charms have inscriptions written in Taoist "magic" writing. In these countries similar numismatic charms existed for Buddhist and Confucianism, and at times Taoist coin charms would also incorporate symbolism from these other religions.