Chinese Zodiac

Year of the Tiger

Tigers are the third of the Chinese zodiacs. According to legend, Tiger was confident that no one could compete with its speed and vigor for the celestial race that would decide the order of the zodiacs. However, when Tiger climbed out of the river, thinking it was first, it was informed that Rat placed first for its cunning and Ox placed second for its diligence. This left the king of the jungle having to settle for third place.

Tigers are courageous and active people who love a good challenge and adventure in life.

Like their eponymous zodiac animal, people born in years of the Tiger are vigorous and ambitious, daring and courageous, enthusiastic and generous, self-confident with a sense of justice and a commitment to help others for the greater good.

Table of Contents

Recent Years of the Tiger

The Chinese zodiacs, like many parts of traditional Chinese culture, are based on the Chinese Lunar Calendar, which does not correspond perfectly with our Gregorian calendar. If your birthday falls in January of 1986, for example, your zodiac animal would be Ox instead of Tiger. Consult the chart below to find out exactly when each Tiger zodiac year started.

Year Lunar Year Start Lunar Year End Element
1926 February 13, 1926 February 1, 1927 Fire
1938 January 31, 1938 February 18, 1939 Earth
1950 February 17, 1950 February 5, 1951 Metal
1962 February 5, 1962 January 24, 1963 Water
1974 January 23, 1974 February 10, 1975 Wood
1986 February 9, 1986 January 28, 1987 Fire
1998 January 28, 1998 February 15, 1999 Earth
2010 February 14, 2010 February 2, 2011 Metal
2022 February 1, 2022 January 21, 2023 Water
2034 January 19, 2034 February 7, 2035 Wood

Lucky and Unlucky Things for Tigers

Lucky Things for Tigers

  • Lucky colors: blue, green

  • Lucky numbers: 1, 3, 7

  • Lucky flowers: plum blossom

  • Lucky directions: north

Unlucky Things for Tigers

  • Unlucky colors: white

  • Unlucky numbers: 4, 9

Tigers’ Personality, Strengths and Weaknesses

People born in years of the Tiger are fiercely independent and possess strong self-esteem. They like to act alone and are not very gregarious. They are most likely optimistic and enthusiastic by nature, and always seem to have endless energy, especially at work. Their energetic presence and intense eyes are the greatest charm of Tiger natives. Their vitality is apparent to anyone at a glance, and people are instinctively drawn to this larger than life quality in them.

Tigers are lively and cheerful, and they love freedom and independence. They are a zodiac sign that absolutely must have their personal space. Tigers usually have a keen sense of justice. When faced with injustices, whether against themselves or others, you can be sure Tigers will not stand aside. However, Tigers may also appear unrefined or thoughtless in the way they handle things. In a less developed person, these traits can easily turn into ignorance or foolhardiness.

In general, Tigers possess great tenacity. They are loyal, quick and the center of attention in everything they do. However, a king needs a domain to be truly in possession of their power. For any Tiger, male or female, their ambition will come before they allow themselves a break to enjoy other parts of life.

Strengths of Tigers

Tigers are courageous and authoritative, although they have a cute and charming side as well to those who know them more intimately. Their ambitions run sky-high, however, and Tigers will never treat them as pipe dreams. They are adventurers with the courage to be a pioneer in the line of work they choose. They work tirelessly to realize their dream of changing the world in some way, one step at a time.

Tigers never mince their words, but always speak forthrightly and boldly. They are honest and judicious, almost chivalrous in a way that does not seem to fit the modern world. This quality makes them natural leaders that others gravitate toward. They have a strong sense of responsibility and will always keep their word and uphold their obligations.

Weaknesses of Tigers

Tigers can be very rebellious, often too self-confident to want to coordinate or communicate with others. That frequently leaves them lonely. They may find themselves isolated at work or in the community. They can be dictators with potential love interests and unable to create a happy family life. Likewise, they may have a lot of acquaintances or professional contacts, but may not have any real friends. No one likes to always be alone. That is a fact that the proud Tiger has to learn to accept in themselves.

In pursuit of their goals and ambition, Tigers can be stubborn and brash, possibly willing to use whatever means to achieve their goals. This can appear too domineering for others’ tastes because, with such single-minded focus on their pursuit, Tigers may very well disregard others’ feelings.

Male Tiger Characteristics

Tiger men are talented and ambitious. They are unlikely to stay in a work environment that does not allow them to develop freely for long. Very likely, Tiger men will work for a large company for a few years before setting up their own shop. They are charismatic although rarely gregarious. They are trusted leaders, but rarely friends or confidants. It will be easy for them to move up in any career path they may choose, as long as it presents the potential for independent decision-making. These are serious and earnest men who take their work and life seriously and work tirelessly until they reach their goal.

The same dedication applies to their love life—if they are in love with a woman, they will work earnestly to win her affection before settling down to a serious commitment with her. Once that happens, Tigers will remain a loyal partner. Extramarital affairs are almost impossible for these majestic and diligent men.

Female Tiger Characteristics

Female Tigers are intelligent and strong to the point of domineering. To some, they may appear entirely unfeminine. In the workplace, they can appear brash. In reality, however, Tigers possess positive traits that spell success both at work and home. In the professional setting, Tiger women are bold and decisive. They are fearless and never hesitate to take on a leadership role—why should they? They know themselves to be the best.

It is believed by some that Tiger women are arrogant and temperamental, therefore unlikely to find satisfaction in home and family life. This statement is not unreasonable, but more because ancient cultures like China’s tended to believe a woman’s place was in the home. In the modern day, that is no longer true, and anyone who can handle their dominant first impression will find a dedicated and strong woman underneath their tough exterior—an equal match for any man outstanding enough for these independent ladies to consider as a potential mate.

The Five Elements and the Tiger Personality

The Chinese zodiacs use the Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches system, which assigns one of the five elements—Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth—to each year, in addition to the zodiac signs. This cycle completes every 60 years before starting over, so two Tiger years of a certain element will occur 60 years apart.

With this additional influence, someone born in 1974, a Wood Tiger, will have a markedly different personality than someone born in 1986 (a Fire Tiger). Look for your birth year in the sections below and read about how the element of that year affects your personality.

Metal Tiger Personality

Recent years: 1950, 2010

Metal Tigers are self-possessed, with the tendency to be occasionally self-righteous. They are natural leaders who want to rebel against others’ commands. They are not afraid of power, while at the same time are sympathetic toward those on their team. It is virtually impossible for them to watch others suffer without trying to remedy the situation somehow, and they will give freely when they are asked for something.

Although this is a very positive trait, Metal Tigers can be gullible and deceived by others because they are so willing to help. They are very loyal, trustworthy, and stalwart—what they promise to do for others and what they decide to pursue for themselves will not be easily shaken by external opinions. Metal Tigers have a certain degree of wealth and may easily receive help from older women when they are in trouble. It is best for Metal Tigers to buy gold and other value-preserving goods instead of gambling with their money, as they can be reckless and easily deceived.

Water Tiger Personality

Recent years: 1962, 2022

Water Tigers tend to have very good interpersonal relationships. They are family-oriented and like to lead a quiet and peaceful family life. They may appear brash on the outside, while on the inside they may be prone to indecision and restraint. Metal Tigers keep family and work clearly divided, and try to never take work home. Although they are relatively taciturn, they are considerate and sympathetic to their loved ones.

Tigers desire power and Water Tigers are no exception. If they can work hard and keep making progress, they will surely realize their wishes. Water Tigers must learn to practice patience and love, especially with their family. Otherwise, turbulence in the private sphere will interfere with their success in the professional sphere. Water Tigers will make great progress in their career, but success will not come without hard work. They can find others’ advice off-putting, a hang-up they will have to get over in order to succeed.

Wood Tiger Personality

Recent years: 1974, 2034

Wood Tigers have excellent memories. They are motivated and eager to learn, with particular talent in anything innovative and creative. Their professional fortunes are mixed, but if they can keep a circle of good friends around who can give them advice, they will be able to realize a bright future.

It is important for Wood Tigers to value the love and friendship they already have, otherwise they will lose their closest confidants. Wood Tigers have good financial luck and may also receive unexpected wealth and part-time opportunities. If they can continue to make small investments as time passes, they will be rewarded for such prudence down the line. Wood Tigers are advised to not be arrogant and headstrong, which could prove the greatest cause of their failure.

Fire Tiger Personality

Recent years: 1926, 1986

Fire Tigers are earnest and meticulous. They are talented and strong willed. They don’t love discussions, so when they are taking part in one, they will tend to loudly express their opinions without giving others a chance to speak. They are naturally intelligent, quick and lifelong students. Their health is one area to watch out for, as Fire Tigers may be more prone to illnesses than others. They should go to the hospital and seek treatment right away if they feel any discomfort.

More than other Tiger natives, Fire Tigers are generous to a fault, which makes them great husband and father material. They enjoy family bliss, and with the wealth they are destined for, they will never be short of money, which will be a great help if something happens to their health. They can be overly confident and yield easily to temptation, which is something their generous nature will need to understand better as Fire Tigers age.

Earth Tiger Personality

Recent years: 1938, 1998

Earth Tigers are both generous and helpful, although they can also be arrogant. They are natural entrepreneurs, knowing how to command attention and trust. As Earth Tigers make it a habit to help others, when they encounter any difficulties themselves they will find others eager to help. They are kind above all, and worthy of anyone’s friendship.

From early in their life, Earth Tigers will be interested in metaphysics and philosophy, and they will learn to sharpen their thought processes as they mature. As entrepreneurs, they love to innovate, often coming up with brand new ideas that they will share with their friends and try to implement together. They should be more considerate of their romantic partner, however, instead of making them feel lonely and jealous of Earth Tigers’ friends. They will have good luck, and will often be helped by higher-ups, although they can be too sensual as well, which may take their focus away from more lasting joys in life.

Tigers in Love: Compatibility and Romantic Relationships

Tigers are very good romantic partners, but may sometimes come off as too enthusiastic. This can make more reserved zodiac signs feel overwhelmed while Tigers are intoxicated by happiness. Women born in years of the Tiger love romance and look forward to a life filled with romance with a child-like wonder, almost expecting it to be like the fairy tales. Because Tigers are naturally passionate and possessive, their partner may feel at a loss as to how to meet their passion to the same degree.

Male Tigers and Their Most Compatible Zodiacs

Tiger (Male) and Horse (Female)

This is an energetic, warm and harmonious pairing. Both partners are enthusiastic about life and rather cheerful. They both excel at communication. On the other hand, neither will overindulge in family life, as both are very ambitious, and will rejoice in sharing their dreams and wishes with their partner. Horse is exactly what a Tiger man, who is kind and calm, needs in a partner. Horse is intelligent and gentle with her partner and able to tolerate a certain degree of fickleness from her Tiger mate.

Tiger (Male) and Dog (Female)

This will be a sweet and mutually affectionate couple. They will work hard together and both be dedicated to their family. The woman will be very gentle and kind, which Tiger admires and treasures. Tiger will have a can-do attitude with a compassionate heart, which makes Dog willing to invest in the relationship without fear. They will be very attracted to each other while also able to respect each other's privacy. Together, this pairing will spur each other on to reach their potential.

Tiger (Male) and Pig (Female)

This pair shares mutual motivation and will be there for their partner when they need support most. Both will be vigorously alive and regard their partner as more important than even themselves. They will feel most liberated when they are together, with the joint ability to maintain passion and understanding in their intimate relationship. This couple will enjoy a sweet old age together. The man will continue to invest in the family while the woman never wavers in her support. Above all, this pairing is characterized by trust.

Female Tigers and Their Most Compatible Zodiacs

Tiger (Female) and Horse (Male)

This pair will have a lot in common. Both of you will have plenty of energy, and you will most likely enjoy moving toward a common goal together. Together, you can make continuous progress and create a better life. The man will be very active and confident in doing things, while the woman is a lively, cheerful and naturally charming person. Tiger will also be quite responsible for the family, so this marriage will be characterized by a clear division of duties. Neither of you will be lazy in your unremitting effort to build a solid home and amass wealth and security as a couple. You are destined for a joyous and abundant life together.

Tiger (Female) and Dog (Male)

This is a naturally good match, as both partners are idealists who are kind and charitable. In this area, they will be able to give each other the understanding and the support they need. As a married couple, this pair will enjoy physical and mental peace—a feeling of being at ease in their partner’s presence. Both are likely to become even more generous and humble as their relationship matures. TIger can be temperamental, which does not scare Dog, who excels at using diplomacy to comfort the too-impulsive Tiger. This is a perfect pair in many ways.

Tiger (Female) and Pig (Male)

Tiger and Pig are a pair that can motivate each other. Tiger is cheerful and high-spirited, making the man feel deeply attracted to his mate. Pig is kind-hearted and generous toward others, making compassionate Tiger quite fond of them. They will know how to attract each other’s attention and how to please each other in every aspect of life. As long as you fall for each other naturally, the foundation of your relationship will prove quite solid over the years. Even if one partner falls short of expectations in one area, this shortcoming will likely be ignored by their mate. This will be a very forgiving couple indeed.

Tigers’ Least Compatible Pairings

Tiger and Monkey

These two zodiac signs don’t really belong to the same world. Tiger is strong-willed and ambitious, often incapable of listening to others’ ideas. They may even resort to violence in the wrong pairing. Monkeys can also be temperamental and unwilling to back down. As a couple, they will fight and quarrel over everything, neither willing to take a step back or make up. Both will likely be selfish toward their partner, with their entire attention on themselves and their own lives. This couple will most likely not last for very long, with a hasty marriage inevitably ending in divorce.

Tiger and Snake

It will be difficult for this pairing to come together. They are almost opposite each other in temperament, and won’t find it easy to understand the other person. Tiger is passionate and direct, while Snake is cautious and suspicious. Snake will find Tiger overpowering, while Tiger will find Snake difficult to get to know. Without the ability to communicate and understand each other, this pairing is destined to fail eventually.

Tigers in Work: Professional Advantages and Ideal Careers

Tigers are ambitious to a fault, but don’t mistake that for greed or desire for financial rewards alone. On the contrary, Tigers usually hold some spiritual belief that is higher than money. Their ambition is not simply a means to secure their financial future. Indeed, often their highest pursuit exists only in ideals that are impossible to fully realize in the real world, but that does not mean that Tigers will stop trying.

To their advantage, Tigers are skilled at analyzing situations and gaining unique insights that they can then turn into opportunities. They are decisive and bold, like any natural leader should be. They do not like mundane work, but thrive in an environment in which they must reinvent themselves daily. What may be anxiety-producing for others, Tigers crave in order to satisfy their abundant energy and entrepreneurial bent. They believe their hard work will pay off.

Politics, business and investing are areas Tigers may choose as naturally as a fish chooses to remain in water. These sectors offer them the chance to play out their strengths. Competitive sports where Tigers have the opportunity to push themselves past their personal limit each day are also welcomed. Otherwise, Tigers may choose to go into business for themselves. Outdoor and sports equipment stores may be a wise entrepreneurial venture, as it would be satisfying as an entrepreneur while indulging in a sense of adventure.

Lastly, Tigers are resolute and can often also be rebellious. They love to change the status quo and break apart traditions. Therefore, they could also work well in the research and development department to develop new markets or discover new ways of conducting any business. Ultimately, as long as their need to be independent and adventurous is satisfied, Tigers should thrive in any career.

Eminent Tiger Personalities

  • Jim Carrey: born January 17, 1962; Water Tiger

  • Megan Fox: born May 16, 1986; Fire Tiger

  • Leonardo DiCaprio: born November 11, 1974; Wood Tiger

  • Shawn Mendes: born August 8, 1998; Earth Tiger

  • Dr. Phil: born September 1, 1950; Metal Tiger


Tigers in the Year of the Tiger (2022)

It is the Year of the Tiger in 2022, Tiger’s Ben Ming Nian. It is therefore their year of Fan Tai Sui—offending the powerful yearly god that governs an entire year in Chinese culture. This is unfortunate for Tigers in Chinese astrology, which believes that a person’s Ben Ming Nian is the year they will likely suffer setbacks and misunderstandings at the very least, possibly even meet with disasters on a more serious scale.

But fear not, because there are ways to combat this turn of bad luck, and if you work along with the flow of fortune and destiny, you should be able to overcome any serious challenges and come out more or less unscathed from the year.

Check out our article on Tai Sui for a list of things you can do this year to ward off Tai Sui’s wrath in 2022, and ask for favors and blessings from this powerful god. Be sure to start preparing before Chinese New Year before February 1, 2022, to get a jump start!

Love and Relationships in 2022

Tiger won’t be blessed with spectacular luck in the love department in 2022, but things won’t be terrible either. In a year of Fan Tai Sui, mediocre fortune is all one should hope for, as both singles and those in a relationship are unlikely to be 100% satisfied with their love life this year. In particular, for people who are married or are in a serious relationship, 2022 is likely to spell some trouble at home due to stress and exhaustion in the workplace.

In addition, their relationship or marriage may also be fettered by trivialities this year, doubling up the pressure on Tigers all year long. If your partner is a Tiger, you may do well to make sure your own temper is under control, so that not both partners erupt at the same time and escalate a small quarrel into something less likely to be smoothed over.

For singles, you are not likely to meet anyone special, since Tigers are not blessed with good luck in love in 2022. In particular, Tiger women are advised to be vigilant, as they are not only likely to not have any luck with people they meet, but may even meet those who will have an ulterior motive. Therefore, 2022 is not the best year for Tiger to start dating anyone new. Possibly, it would be better to focus your attention and energy on work—work harder and improve yourself and social standing, so that when your luck reverses course in 2023 you will be ready for much better matches!

Career in 2022

Work for Tiger natives in 2022 will not be ideal. Due to the effect of Tai Sui, Tigers will likely encounter bottlenecks in their career this year. Those who work in an office setting may have to face frequent problems deliberately caused by their co-workers and employers, making them feel more stressed and frustrated in this year. Not only that, Tiger natives who are already at the executive level may have to deal with rebellious or even downright backstabbing employees this year who may undermine the image and majesty of Tigers, causing their career to take a tumble.

Therefore, the most important thing for Tigers in the Year of the Tiger is to guard against possible crises and avoid letting others affect your development. Unlike in other years, Tiger may feel sluggish this year and too tired to make a good first impression. Therefore, they are advised to prepare for everything important well in advance, and put in more effort than usual to offset the effect of Tai Sui.

Wealth in 2022

Wealth will not be as problematic as other aspects of Tigers’ life in 2022, which is hopefully a relief. Tiger will be able to make profits and gains in their investments this year, but it is also possible that they will experience heavy losses – both effects, no matter which happens to you, will likely be doubled or magnified under 2022’s fortunes. You may spend all of your money but that will likely go to real estate, which will be a stabilizing factor in this rather turbulent year. Try to rein in your expenditure in day-to-day life, so that when a big ticket item comes due, you are at least partially covered.

Education in 2022

Students born in years of Tiger, likely those born in 2010 or 1998, will likely be forgetful and inefficient in their studies this year. They may find it hard to focus their attention, and be tempted by external factors or interruptions. Try to cultivate more awareness of your mental state, and learn to proactively focus on the task at hand – it will serve you better later in your adult life.

Health in 2022

Among all the areas of life, Tigers need to pay special attention to their health in 2022, as this could be one of the hardest hit by Tai Sui. You may find yourself suffering more minor cold or fevers this year. When that happens, allow yourself rest and nourishment to prevent it from becoming anything worse. For the best health, guard your mouth like it is a set of iron gates. Do not eat indiscriminately, and refuse anything that is greasy or irritating, otherwise indigestion could snowball into something more serious.

Also watch for your personal safety, as you may encounter injuries or accidents due to hidden dangers in your life. Motorists, for example, should be extra vigilant on the road and never violate traffic regulation. It is best to stay under Tai Sui’s radar in 2022 to keep yourself safe.

Tigers in the Year of the Rat (2021)

Overall, 2021 will be a stable year for the Tiger. Many of you felt a lot of stress in 2020, which may have affected your health. With everything getting back on track this year, you can finally be able to catch a breather.

Though this year may be stable, it may not feature the career accomplishments you have long sought after. When you become frustrated and restless, remember that this year offers immense potential to utilize your positive energy.

The Tiger will have great luck with romance this year. The lucky Peach Blossom star will increase your confidence and appeal, making this a good year to get out there and explore your options.


Like your overall fortune, your career will be stable and event-free. You will continue putting out good performances at your current position, and there will be nothing to worry about. This may sound good to many, but as a driven Tiger, the lack of activity might not be what you are looking for.

Those of you aspiring to change jobs or receive promotions may feel frustrated and disappointed. While this may not be the most exciting phase of your career, it will provide the perfect opportunity to lay the groundwork for future success. Take this time to review your fundamentals and improve your skills.

The Year of the Ox will bless the Tiger with sound financial footing. Some of your previous financial investments will begin to generate good returns. Though occasional hitches will still pop up, you will likely be able to stem the tide.

Avoid unnecessary speculation, as sufficient funds might tempt you to overindulge. Make cautious financial moves, and you are likely to keep your pocket full this year.

Lucky Months: May, September, and October

Unlucky Months: April, July, and August


2021 will be a great year for Tigers to achieve significant progress in their studies. Because your overall fortune is stable and stress-free, you will have more time and energy to concentrate on your learning and work toward your educational goals.

The Metal Ox will also inspire you to explore. You are likely to discover a new favorite class, research project, or area of interest that you may want to pursue as a career. As a student, you will need to keep your ambitions high and your ideas in the spotlight.


The Tiger will experience a year of wonderful opportunities for love and relationships. Single Tigers may find the love of their life this year. Be sure to put yourself out there as much as you can, even if you are generally more introverted.

The lucky Peach Blossom star will help you with your social interactions—especially romantic ones—and you are likely to feel more confident, attractive, and at ease when you approach people you like. It may not be the best idea to pursue short-term pleasure, however. Single Tigers should seek out a steady and loving companion instead.

Tigers already in a committed relationship will find 2021 to be a year of peace and harmony. Use this time to deepen your relationship with your partner through traveling and going on adventures.

Your assertiveness and love of independence may cause some strains during this time. Communication will be especially important for the Tiger, so remember that honest heart-to-heart talks can usually remove any lingering clouds in your relationship.


2021 will be a good year for the Tiger’s health. Though you have felt drained or exhausted in the past year, this year will see you on the road to recovery and becoming your best self. While this year will serve a period of rest and rejuvenation, it will be a good time to pick up a sport of your liking to pursue long term.

No major illnesses will worry you this year, though you may be prone to minor illness at times. Do not let your guard down. Routine checkups and awareness of your physical health will still be crucial for Tigers in 2021.


Compared to last year, the Tiger will enjoy a healthy and happy year with less stress and more human connections. You will find yourself in romantic and platonic relationships that are both fun and supportive.

2021 will be a good year to make some important choices in your love life, and you will gain some beautiful memories with someone special. Though you may find work to be less exciting and rewarding this year, if you remain patient and adapt to your environment, good things will come your way. Always put forth your best effort. With a little bit of luck, you will get your chance to shine in the later months of the year.