Gateway Gazette

Chinese Lunar New Year: The Year of the Rat

Rats are clever, quick thinkers; successful, but content with living a quiet and peaceful life.

The Rat is the first of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. The Rat tricked the Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived at the finish line, Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox, becoming first.

The Rat is also associated with the Earthly Branch (地支—dì zhī) Zi (子) and the midnight hours. In the terms of yin and yang (阴阳—yīn yáng), the Rat is yang and represents the beginning of a new day.

In Chinese culture, rats were seen as a sign of wealth and surplus. Because of their reproduction rate, married couples also prayed to them for children.

Recent years of the Rat are: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020.

Paired with the Celestial Stems (天干—Tiān gān), there is a 60-year calendrical cycle. Although zi is associated with water, the years also cycle through the five elements of nature (五行—wǔ xíng).

See the table below for the full details of each year.

YEARZODIACEARTHLY BRANCHCELESTIAL STEMELEMENTYIN YANG
1924RatzijiǎWoodYang
1936RatzibǐngFireYang
1948RatziEarthYang
1960RatzigēngMetalYang
1972RatzirénWaterYang
1984RatzijiǎWoodYang
1996RatzibǐngFireYang
2008RatziEarthYang
2020RatzigēngMetalYang

Personality and characteristics

Optimistic and energetic, people born in the Rat year are likable by all. They are sensitive to other’s emotions but are stubborn with your opinion. Their personality is kind, but due to weak communication skills, their words may seem impolite and rude.

On the financial side, they like saving and can be stingy. However, their love for hoarding will sometimes cause them to waste money on unnecessary things.

ELEMENTYEARFORTUNE
Metal1960, 2020These Rats tend to be reliable and live a stable life. They may hold some power and are able to turn unlucky events into fortune.
Water1972, 2032These Rats encounter hardships in the early days. They become successful during their middle ages and create a happy family. However, relatives and close friends may weigh them down.
Wood1924, 1984These Rats are multi-talented. They are strong-willed and always finish what they begin.
Fire1936, 1996These Rats have high IQs and EQs. They are average during youth, develop well in the middle ages and have great fortune later in life.
Metal1948, 2008These Rats are good speakers. They’re the mood makers of a group, but can be slightly possessive. They face difficulties in their youth, but are generally able to withstand them.

Men born in the Rat year are clever and adapt quickly to new environments. They are creative great at taking advantage of opportunities. However, they sometimes lack the courage to do so. Although they have great ideas, they might not be suitable for leadership positions.

Women born in the Rat year are the traditional women. They love keeping things organized and place great value on the family. Everything is taken care of by them and there is no need for their husband to worry. Outside of home, they’re also someone with a sense of responsibility and ability.

Read more about those born in the year of the Rat

Lucky things for Rats

  • Colors: blue, gold, green
  • Numbers: 2, 3
  • Flowers: lily, African violet, valley lily
  • Directions of auspiciousness: southeast, northeast
  • Directions of wealth: southeast, east
  • Directions of love: west

Unlucky things

  • Colors: yellow, brown
  • Numbers: 5, 9

Check out these facts you might not know about the Chinese New Year!

https://chinesenewyear.net/

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