It’s almost February, and along with that comes the Lunar New Year, celebrated by over two billion people across the world! According to the Chinese zodiac, it will be the Year of the Tiger! We’re sharing four free article and stories from our award-winning children’s magazines to help kick off the new year in style. Learn about the legend of the Chinese zodiac, read some traditional Chinese folktales featuring tigers, and learn a little more about the conservation efforts to save real tigers!
The Chinese Zodiac
Where did the legend of the Chinese Zodiac come from? Why are there 12 animals, and why that order? Nobody knows for certain, but this fascinating article from FACES Magazine dives into some interesting possibilities. Plus, it includes an old folktale explaining why the Year of the Rat comes first. This article is a great way to explain what exactly a ‘zodiac’ is and how the Lunar New Year is measured. “The Chinese Zodiac” was written by Sarah Novak for FACES! Read and download it here!
The Tiger Son
Although they are now nearly extinct, tigers used to roam much of China. This old Chinese folk tale, The Tiger Son, is a little bit sad and a little bit sweet! In Chinese culture, respecting and caring for parents is one of the most important duties. We can see some of that tradition here in the tale of a tiger who, as punishment for killing a woman’s son, must become her new son. Can you imagine living in a village with a respectful tiger who helps out his neighbors? This tale was retold by Sue Cowing for CRICKET Magazine and illustrated by Sue Todd. Read and download it here!
Laozi and the Tiger
Sometimes, kindness is the best solution to a scary problem. In this traditional tale from North China, the philopsopher Laozi is asked to stop a tiger from raiding a village’s animals. The villagers think he’s going to kill the tiger that’s been attacking them. Instead, he taught the tiger how to give and receive happiness, which transformed him into a man! It’s almost like a “Beauty and the Beast” story. Read this short and sweet tale, retold for DIG Magazine by Sarah Novak!
Saving the Tigers
One great way to celebrate the Year of the Tiger is to learn more about them– and to help save them! Tigers are endangered, with only about 4,000 individuals left in the wild. There are currently about 55 wild tigers in China. How can people help bring these beautiful beasts back from the brink? This article from ASK Magazine features the work of conservationist and tiger expert Ullas Karanth. He tracks and observes wild tigers to help governments protect their population and habitat! Read and download the article, written by Cynthia Graber, here!
If your child is interested in learning more about Chinese language and culture, you may also want to consider exploring virtual Chinese lessons with NeuLingo! Try a lesson for only 99 cents.