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Hello Huan! Happy Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year this year runs from 31 January to 15 February 2022 with the Tiger being the symbol. The celebration of the New Year lasts for a whole 16 days ending with a Lantern Festival on 15 February and a public holiday from 31 January to 6 February.

Tiger takes the third place among the 12 animals in Chinese zodiac that represent 12 branches of the Earth in Chinese culture. It is commonly regarded as one of the most powerful animals in the world. Tigers are the only cat species that is completely striped, meaning that even their skin is striped. Just like human fingerprints, no two tigers have the same stripes, although the colour might vary from light brown to black. They are not symmetrical on both sides of the tiger either. The density also varies by subspecies. The stripes on a Sumatran tiger are denser than those on any other subspecies. Tigers love water. They are powerful swimmers and have been known to swim great distances to hunt or cross rivers. They also enjoy relaxing in pools or streams. In China, tigers are called "king of all animals." The stripes on their foreheads resemble the Chinese character "王," which means "king." Since ancient times, Chinese people have been using tiger totems to symbolize power, strength and auspiciousness. This symbol has been worshiped and revered throughout history. In Chinese culture, tigers are believed to be the guardians of children. Therefore, during the Chinese New Year, kids in many region would wear a tiger hat to wish for a healthy childhood. This might explain why it became part of the Chinese zodiac. People born in the year of the tiger are said to be brave, competitive, unpredictable, and confident.

I decided that I couldn't let the New Year pass especially as I have a love of tigers that goes back to childhood. There is something about their majestic beauty and strength that has always drawn me to them. I would love to see one in its natural habitat rather than pacing to and fro in a zoo enclosure, one day a trip to India. So until that happens let me introduce Huan the Tiger. The name means happy and despite by his size of approximately 2 inches high / 2.5 inches wide, he is all tiger and ready to roar. He uses a small amount of double knitting yarn and stuffing with safety eyes but you could stitches these on too. You could use any thickness of yarn just reduce the size of the hook by at least 1mm so the stitching is nice and tight.

Hu will be free for the duration of the New Year so from today until 15 January, after which he will be a paid pattern over on Ravelry.

Huan the Tiger
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