Earn your tiger stripes

By Zhao Jingting (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-02-10 10:52
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Earn your tiger stripes
This cute tiger is a favorite home decoration. File photo

Tigers rule the jungle of home decoration right now as the Year of the Tiger looms.

Tiger-themed ornaments are the darlings of Easyhome, HOLA and other furniture stores in Beijing with so many people wanting beautiful and practical tiger trinkets for holiday presents for their loved ones.

The tiger is crucial in Chinese culture. It has been used as a symbol of power, strength and awe. Tiger ranks third in the Chinese Zodiac and the beast is regarded as the ruler of all animals.

People who were born in the Year of the Tiger are considered heroic and optimistic. They can live longer and be good at leading, rather than following.

You can find tiger keyrings, tiger fluffy toys, tiger cushions, tiger lanterns and tiger pillows. The list is endless. You can even wear a pair of tiger-head shoes or gloves if you would like to stand out on the street this winter. With that, you can keep warm and show off your personality and taste in fashion.

As "the top predator in the animal kingdom", tigers are considered to be a sign of cruelty and power. However, in home decorations, the king of the animals is usually portrayed as adorable and cute.

The market's best-selling trinket is a cloth tiger (Bu Lao Hu) in bright red and yellow. It has a round head, smiling mouth and big lovely eyes.

Cloth tigers are traditional Chinese folk toys that originated in northern China. It is a symbol said to ward off evil and bring good luck as well as safeguard your fortune.

The creative design, delicate craftsmanship and hot trends make cloth tigers even more popular in the Year of the Tiger.

The pattern on the forehead of tigers constitutes Chinese character "��" (king), which is also a popular surname.

During times of war, the tiger-head was drawn on soldiers' shields to deter the enemy.

Tiger paintings are often hung on the wall and facing the door so that demons don't dare enter. Nowadays, you can still see children wearing tiger-head hats and tiger-head shoes to vanquish evil. Some Chinese people may sleep on tiger-shaped pillows to make them stronger. In the Year of the Tiger, the red "��" character is usually written on children's heads to enhance their energy and vitality.

Go and find some cute tiger-themed pieces and add more flavor to your home during Spring Festival.

Earn your tiger stripes