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.
|Year||Zodiac||Earthly Branch||Celestial Stem||Element||Yin 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.
|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 Ox (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.
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.