The Lunar New Year, which is also known as the Spring Festival, is one of the popular celebrations in China and in other Asian nations. The festival falls sometime between the 21st of January and the 20th of February on the Gregorian calendar, starting with the first new moon and culminating on the first full of the lunar calendar. Read along to learn about how the Lunar New Year is celebrated on banknotes. 2022 is the year of the tiger.

Zodiac Animals | Source: AS

The Origin 

One of the main characters in the Lunar New Year is Nian. It is believed that this horrific beast in Chinese mythology would devour human flesh on New Year’s Day. Nian was afraid of the color red, flame, and loud noises. Therefore, people would wear red clothing, put up red paper decorations, burn lanterns at night, light up firecrackers, and create loud noise from drums to scare the beast away.  

Nian Dragon During Celebrations | Source: Pixabay / Scribbling Geek

The Tiger 

The Lunar Calendar is associated with 12 zodiac animals: rat, ox, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. These zodiac animals symbolize the 12 cycles or signs along the ecliptic. Accompanying these animals are elements of earth, fire, wood, water, and metal, representing each year of the Lunar Calendar. They are based on the 12-year cycle. The year 2022 is represented by the Tiger which is known for its strength and braveness. The Tiger is also considered the king of all animals in China.  

South Vietnam 500 Dong | Source: Banknote World

Banknotes With Tigers 

The Tiger is not only linked to the Lunar Calendar. The animal is also known as the vehicle of the goddess Durga. Its parts are also used as talismans and in some tribes, the tiger is worshipped. The beast also appears in some banknotes such as on the reverse of the 1972 issue of the South Vietnam 500 Dong. Furthermore, a roaring Bengal Tiger is made visible when a 1982-1993 Bangladesh 1 Taka banknote is placed under a UV light.  

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