Chinese Zodiac

Year of the Rat

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 () 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.

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

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.

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).

Recent years of the Rat

Year Zodiac Earthly Branch Celestial Stem Element Yin Yang
1924 Rat zi jiǎ Wood Yang
1936 Rat zi bǐng Fire Yang
1948 Rat zi Earth Yang
1960 Rat zi gēng Metal Yang
1972 Rat zi rén Water Yang
1984 Rat zi jiǎ Wood Yang
1996 Rat zi bǐng Fire Yang
2008 Rat zi Earth Yang
2020 Rat zi gēng Metal Yang

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.

Elements and fortunes

Element Year Fortune
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

Unlucky things

  • 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 Tiger (2022)

The year of 2021 is likely one of some turbulence for people born in years of the Rat. Fortunately, the lunar year of 2022, which will start on February 1, is likely to be a much better year for this group. The bad luck you experienced in 2021 will be completely washed away and replaced by happiness and joy in many aspects of life.

At the same time, Rat natives may be prone to impulsive behavior in 2022, with a penchant for being nosy. Make sure to curb this tendency in yourself and learn to control your temper in order to enjoy your luck in 2022 to the fullest.

Love and Relationships in 2022

In 2022, your luck in love and relationships is only average, although men will find better fortune than women. If you are single, you will meet new love interests, but they are not likely to be for the long haul. You will find it difficult to start real and solid relationships with them. Make sure to protect yourself against people who may have ulterior motives in approaching you. Practice prudence in love.

For those already in a relationship, make sure to rein in your temper in 2022, otherwise this year could prove disastrous for your relationship or marriage. You may find yourself extra impulsive or temperamental in 2022, no matter what zodiac sign your partner may have. Make special effort to maintain peace and harmony at home and avoid conflicts with your partner, which may quickly escalate out of hand.

Career in 2022

If work did not go smoothly in 2021, you can breathe a sigh of relief as 2022 approaches. Stagnant ventures or stalled development from the previous year will be cleared away and you will enjoy better fortune in terms of leadership and personal development. In particular, if you find your superiors uninspiring or your work environment not suited for growth, 2022 will be a great year for you to change jobs or even industries if you believe it will mean more potential in the future.

But no matter what happens at work in 2022, do not allow it to affect your home life, otherwise it could prove straining for your marriage or love relationship. There will also be some pressure and competition, but rest assured that as long as you use your intelligence and keen observation to your advantage you will come out ahead.

Wealth in 2022

You are likely to have luck in terms of wealth in 2022, especially when compared to 2021. You will find your income increasing steadily. This will include income from work, side businesses and any investment you may have. Make sure you are putting some of your extra money away in a savings account, however, otherwise you may easily waste the surplus without realizing it.

This is a great opportunity to learn how to manage your money better and invest in a sensible way—real estate may be a good option as a hedge against riskier investment instruments for Rat natives, both in general and in 2022.

Education in 2022

Students born in years of the Rat, likely those born in 2008 or 1996, should focus on their studies and not yield to your tendency to play. This will be especially important for those preparing for a college or graduate school application. While your luck in this area is not as strong as it is in other areas, as long as you work hard, you will be amply rewarded for your effort.

Health in 2022

In 2022, you will enjoy better physical health, although Rat natives born in 1984 may encounter problems with their shoulders and muscles and experience back pain. Elder Rat natives are advised to check up on their kidney and urinary systems to guard against potentially serious health problems.

Rats in the Year of the Rat (2021)

2021 will be a promising year for the Rat, as the Rat and the Ox are known for their great compatibility. The Metal Ox will bring you a sense of confidence and optimism, and you will feel more at ease navigating social interactions.

You will also feel eager to put more effort into your career and education. You may still experience challenges, however. An influx of opportunities may cause you to suffer from stress and anxiety.

Keep an eye on your health, and find time to relax in your busy schedule. The Rat will shine this year, so seize every opportunity and enjoy the ride.


The Metal Ox will provide the Rat with a source of strength, allowing you to deal with challenges and take initiative. While challenges may stand in your way, try to use them as stepping stones on your way to further growth.

Throughout the year, your success may be acknowledged or even envied by those around you. Do not take their judgments too personally, and turn your attention to productive activities, such as accomplishing tasks, instead.

Grasp every opportunity that comes your way, and don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. Be ready to take risks throughout the year; only then can you truly appreciate what you are capable of doing.

Do your best to save money this year. The energy of the Metal Ox will entice you with luxury items, but it is generally a bad idea to splurge on any large purchases. Try to save up as much money as you can in the first half of the year, as you are likely to experience financial problems in the second half. If you are relatively frugal with your expenses, you should be able to remain financially stable in 2021.

Lucky Months: March, July, and December

Unlucky Months: February, May, and June


The Year of the Ox will bless you with a renewed burst of energy to explore your interests and learn new things. No matter what stage of life you find yourself in, you are likely to find new interests and take on new projects.

Between your intellectual curiosity and hard work, you will excel at whatever you choose to do. It is important for you to use your positive energy to influence those around you. If you can work as a team player and find a friend to serve as your study buddy, you will have a great learning experience.


For the most part, The Rat will remain healthy throughout the year (though you may experience minor illnesses). The Metal Ox will grant you additional strength, which you can use to help you cut out bad habits.

Major life changes will be coming your way thanks to the Metal Ox’s influence, and these may bring you stress and anxiety, either professionally or in other spheres of life. Your health is essential to a productive year, so remember to allow yourself some breathing room, especially during busier times.


The Rat’s love life is expected to go smoothly this year. The Ox will provide you with stability and passion. If you are already in a romantic relationship, things are likely to progress for the better. Be sure to avoid temptation, however.

The Metal Ox energy will make you more attracted to materialistic goods and enjoyments, which could lead to disagreements with your partner if your financial goals are different.

If you are single, 2021 is a great year to seek out romance. The Rat is more likely to find new love with someone you already know, likely one of your friends. This new relationship may not lead to anything serious, however. While you may not find a potential spouse this year, you will likely find yourself enjoying a romantic fling instead.


2021 is an excellent year for the Rat with ample opportunities for growth. Finding a balance between your career and personal life will be crucial. Take the time to nurture your relationships with friends and family, as they will be your anchors during this time of change.

You are going to feel overburdened and tired at times, and you may even become anxious or nervous. However, all of these potential setbacks will ultimately motivate you on your personal journeys. Do your best to put yourself out there more often, but don’t forget to have fun and rest along the way.