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.
Rats are clever, quick thinkers; successful, but content with living a quiet and peaceful life.
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.
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.
|Metal||1960, 2020||These Rats tend to be reliable and live a stable life. They may hold some power and are able to turn unlucky events into fortune.|
|Water||1972, 2032||These 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.|
|Wood||1924, 1984||These Rats are multi-talented. They are strong-willed and always finish what they begin.|
|Fire||1936, 1996||These Rats have high IQs and EQs. They are average during youth, develop well in the middle ages and have great fortune later in life.|
|Metal||1948, 2008||These 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.
Most compatible with Rat: Ox, Dragon, Monkey
Rat’s fixed Earthly Branch is water, while Ox is earth. They complement and help one another in both work and life.
Couples that are formed from Rat and Dragon will be able to understand each other well, and enjoy success together.
Similar to Dragons, Monkeys get along great with Rats, and tend to live happily ever after like a fairytale.
Least compatible with Rat: Horse, Goat and Rabbit
The Earthly Branches of Rat and Horse clash strongly. No matter what a Rat does, it won’t be enough for the Horse.
Goats are attracted to Rat’s wealth and hope to control it, making it a rocky relationship.
The Rabbit will either purposely or unintentionally go against the Rat’s wishes, while the Rat can only keep silent.
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
Colors: yellow, brown
Numbers: 5, 9
Careers fit for Rats
Because of their independence and imagination, they are suitable for creative jobs. These include authors, editors and artists. However, if they join a team, their creative outlet may be blocked.
Rats also pay attention to fine detail. They are fit for technical work, such as engineering and architecture.
They are alert, but have a lack of courage. This makes them unsuitable as police officers, entrepreneurs or other leadership and political positions. Although Rats make good financial decisions, they should be careful not to invest with a close friend. It will not only cause money problems, but also affect the friendship.
Health and lifestyle
Since childhood, Rats have frail health. They have energetic personalities, but tire quickly. They catch colds often, but thankfully do not have serious illnesses.
They are sensitive to change in temperature. Not only is cold weather unbearable for them, they also can’t stand hot weather. But despite seeming weak and not being able to perform hard physical work, they enjoy longevity.
Rats can eat anything, whether they are delicacies or plain food. However, they should pay attention to their diet. Many times, they will get too into work and forget to eat. Going long periods without food and suddenly bingeing cause problems in their digestive system. Enemies of their health also include smoking and drinking habits.
For a healthy life, Rats must remember to eat breakfast, do moderate exercise and remain cheerful.
Rats in the Year of the Rat (2020)
Although a zodiac’s year is traditionally the most unfortunate, laden with bad omens and mishaps, 2020 will perform reasonably well for the Rat. Success will come in the form of career; celebrate the fact that your efforts will be rewarded and seen. On the other hand, your health and relationships will prove to be a struggle. Visit your doctor at the first sign of illness, and work toward creating a loving, open environment for all of your relationships. The year will have its issues, but the positive factors can turn it around.
Even though the year will be a challenge in many areas, the Rat’s career will not be among them. Success will flourish in the workplace, yielding benefits of all kinds. Hard work will be rewarded; your clever skills, quick-thinking, and optimism will drive you forward. Exclusive bonuses will come to those born in the first half of the year. Rats born in the following months will have to push a bit harder for their goals.
Finances will be booming for the entirety of the year! Your income might even double. It would do you well to save and invest your hard-earned money. Try to avoid spending it all on luxurious items and vacations. Instead, splurge on little experiences here and there. Take your family to a theme park or your husband on a dinner date. Your girlfriend might enjoy a trip to the fair.
Lucky Months: March, September, and November.
Unlucky Months: April, July, and October.
The Rat will maintain a decent academic standing in their educational studies. Hard work will be valued and necessary. With the right amount of focus on your studies, you will surely meet your goals. Be wary of your well-being; stress over your course schedule might get you down and even cause illness. Avoid sickness by pairing vitamins with at least seven to eight hours of sleep and proper nutrition. Although you might want to enjoy a full social calendar, it would be better to take some downtime to recuperate.
Vulnerable to sicknesses, like colds and fatigue, the Rat will have to be extra careful in 2020. At the first sign of symptoms, head to your general practitioner immediately. The faster you get medicine and the treatment you need, the quicker you will heal. To stay healthy, do your body a favor and eat more proteins and vegetables; boost your immune system by adding vitamins to your diet as well. As a general rule, proper diet, exercise, and sleep keep one healthy.
Luck is also not in your favor this year for love. Romance will be hard to come by for married couples and singles alike. You will face many struggles throughout the year; however, your innate positivity will help you push through hard times. If you’re single, it is best to avoid longing for a partner this year. The likelihood of finding someone long-term is very low. Instead, have fun and enjoy the freedom of not being tied down romantically. Enjoy light conversation, some partying (but not too much) and meet new people. Take this bad news and look for the bright side!
The same misfortune goes for married couples; be on the lookout for challenges in your relationship. Petty arguments, financial battles, or suspicions might plague your love-life. When these issues surface, don’t let them fester. Deal with everything head on to experience a better year. Focus on the love you have for your partner; this person is your home, your safe zone, and your beloved. Keep yourself grounded in love.
Rats will experience both successes and failures in the Year of the Rat. Success will show itself in the workplace and education, while relationships and health will be the areas that suffer. Overall, the year has a far better outlook than one’s typical zodiac year suggests. Rats should rejoice in their good fortune. Their natural ability to create success is a gift, a gift that will prove itself in financial gain. If you are feeling nervous about the year ahead, protect yourself with a Buddha statue. And have hope for good times to come amidst misfortune.
Rats in the Year of the Rat (2019)
Rats have a far better outlook in the Year of the Pig than they did with the Year of the Dog. The ruling Pig is fond of Rats so fortune and luck are sure to come your way; unless the more relaxed vibe of the year is disturbed by too much volatility.
You can expect to be prosperous and happy in the coming months, if you can avoid the bad luck trying to influence you. Stay away from hospitals and avoid going to funerals if possible. Liver problems and flu related illness may abound if Rats are not careful. If you monitor your diet and exercise, you will be strong and healthy all year long.
Fortune favors the bold. Your career will benefit from taking advantage of your new-found luck in the beginning of this year. Recognition and opportunity abound, if you strike while the iron is hot. You will make great progress with your agenda, but some things still will not come until the end of the year, the timing must be right and that simply can’t be rushed.
Don’t be afraid to put your heart and soul into your career. The way you do anything is the way you do everything, and opportunities are waiting, hidden just around the corner.
You may experience some favorable advice from a male friend, don’t be afraid to follow it.
Lucky Months: July 1st-October 15th
Unlucky Months: October 20th – February 3rd)
This will mostly be a good year for Rat’s education. Focus and dedication or going after what you want this year will bring fruition to your education goals. The Year of the Pig will be about working smart, but not necessarily working hard for what you want. You must learn something new every day, and treasure each of the connections that teach you that something.
Your astrology chart shows that a healthy diet is very important this year. There are several unlucky stars trying to influence Rats, and they are most likely to effect your health. There is also a possibility of accidental injury, so you may not want to put yourself in harms way if it is at all possible.
Start stockpiling fruits and vegetables in order to maintain a healthy diet. Really focus on all that you put into your body. Sickness is waiting right around the corner to bring you down if you lose your concentration. Exercise in order to remain strong. Joining a health club could bring more results than just a fast heart rate. And don’t forget to cultivate healthy sleeping habits, after all it is when you are most vulnerable.
2019 will be a fortunate year for single Rats, so make sure you always look your best. Married Rats they may find themselves tempted, so stay peaceful throughout petty arguments and in good favor with your loved one. Be careful what you search for, in the Year of the Pig, you just might find it.
Rats have great chances of finding love in a monogamous relationship; but equal chances of finding trouble through flings, one-night stands, and casual hook ups. You will meet some interesting potential mates, but the setbacks in love may befall you in the end of year. If it is monogamy you favor, then stay the path Rats, temptation can be plentiful and often very rewarding.
2019 is a perfect year for some relaxation and formulating a refreshed perspective on personal agendas. Rats love to be industrious and studious, but this can be troublesome in the year of the Pig. Success will be found more quickly by recognizing the proper time for work, than by working around the clock.
Take time to enjoy a different view, a refreshing perspective can be just the thing you needed all along. This year is about recognizing opportunities as moments that require action and taking that action to get to the next level.
Some luck regarding potential investments may make its way into your life this year. However, be careful not to overplay your hand and blow your savings as this luck may run out. Do not let yourself become your own worst enemy, or your friends for that matter. Be sure to attend weddings in the first month of the year to cement the luck around you.