Year of the Rat
The Year of the Rat is the first zodiac sign in the Chinese zodiac cycle. According to the Chinese zodiac story, in the competition held by the Jade Emperor to decide the zodiac animals, the quick-witted rat asked the diligent ox to take him on a ride to cross the river and jumped down before the ox crossed the finish line, so the rat won the race and became the first of the zodiac animals.
Recent Rat years are 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, and 2020.
The Chinese zodiac is associated with traditional Chinese chronology — a 60-year calendrical cycle, which is the combination of the 12 Earthly Branches (12 terms corresponding to 12 animals, months, and hours) and the 10 Heavenly Stems.
According to this, the Rat represents the Earthly Branch Zi and the midnight hours (11pm–1am). Moreover, in terms of the Chinese Yin and Yang theory, a Rat is Yang.
Therefore, if you were born in January or February in one of the above years, you might be a Rat, or possibly a Pig.
You can use our free Chinese zodiac sign calculator tool to find your zodiac animal sign or see the table below.
The Rat’s Characteristics and Personality
Rats are quick-witted, resourceful, and smart but lack courage. With rich imaginations and sharp observations, they can take advantage of various opportunities well.
In Chinese culture, rats represent working diligently and thriftiness, so people born in a Rat year are thought to be wealthy and prosperous.
Wood, Fire, Earth, Gold, and Water Rats
In Chinese element theory, each zodiac sign is associated with one of the five elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Gold (Metal), and Water. For example, a Wood Rat comes once in a 60-year cycle.
It is theorized that a person’s characteristics are decided by their birth year’s zodiac animal sign and element. So there are five types of Rat, each with different characteristics:
Men born in a Rat year are very curious so they tend to try their hands at anything and they can deal with tasks skillfully.
Due to a lack of courage, as well as good command skills, they are not capable of being leaders. Opportunistic and picky as male Rats are, they do not have broad minds but take a narrow view of things.
Women born in a Rat year are pretty, smart, and lovely. They have quick minds and dexterous hands, and are able to learn anything. They are always considerate of their families and friends.
Rat’s Love Compatibility
Chinese astrology states that certain zodiac animal combinations get along better than others, and that some animal signs are natural enemies.
Chinese horoscope animals’ compatibility takes the characteristics of each animal into account. Those whose characteristics match well can have good compatibility.
Most compatible zodiac signs with a Rat: Ox, Rabbit, Dragon
The Rat and Ox have complementary characters and will help each other in their work and home lives.
The Rat and Dragon will have a good relationship and support each other.
Couples including a Rat and a Rabbit will get along well and be happy.
Least compatible zodiac signs with a Rat: Horse, Rooster
A Rat clashes easily with a Horse or a Rooster. They lack tolerance toward each other and it’s hard to sustain a lasting peace.
Lucky Things for People Born in a Year of the Rat
Lucky things for Rats:
· Lucky numbers: 2, 3, and numbers containing them (like 23 and 32)
· Lucky days: the 4th and 13th of every Chinese lunar month
· Lucky colors: blue, gold, green
· Lucky flowers: lily, African violet
· Lucky direction: west, northwest and southwest
· Lucky months: the 2nd, 5th and 9th Chinese lunar months
Unlucky things for Rats:
· Unlucky color: yellow, brown
· Unlucky numbers: 5 and 9
· Unlucky direction: south and southeast
· Unlucky months: the 4th, 10th, and 12th Chinese lunar months