Tiger

CatholicSaints

Marysville, United States

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The tiger (hu 虎) is one of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac and is considered the ruler of the beasts on Earth as opposed to the dragon which rules the beasts in the sky and heavens.

The word for tiger (hu) is also a pun because it has the same pronunciation as the word “protect” (hu 护).

In ancient China, the tiger was the Guardian Spirit of Agriculture which could devour the Drought Demon.

The God of Wealth (caishen 财神) is sometimes shown riding a black tiger.

Tigers appear on amulets because they are powerful animals, symbolize heroism, and are believed to be able to eat evil spirits, or at least cause them to flee, and can in general protect people from misfortune.

Tigers also are able to see well in the dark.

For these reasons, images of tigers and tiger’s heads are considered particularly effective in protecting children from malignant spirits.

Tigers also symbolize longevity because the ancient Chinese believed tigers turned white after 500 years and could live for 1,000 years.

Upon death, their spirits entered the earth and became amber.

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