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

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

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

Rats are clever, quick thinkers; successful, but content with living a quietand 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 calendricalcycle. Although zi is associated with water, the years also cycle through thefive elements of nature (五行—wǔ xíng).

Personality and characteristics

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

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

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

Women born in the Rat year are the traditional women. They love keepingthings organized and place great value on the family. Everything is taken careof 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 andhelp one another in both work and life.

Couples that are formed from Rat and Dragon will be able to understand eachother well, and enjoy success together.

Similar to Dragons, Monkeys get along great with Rats, and tend to livehappily 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 Ratdoes, it won’t be enough for the Horse.

Goats are attracted to Rat’s wealth and hope to control it, making it a rockyrelationship.

The Rabbit will either purposely or unintentionally go against the Rat’swishes, 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 creativejobs. These include authors, editors and artists. However, if they join ateam, their creative outlet may be blocked.

Rats also pay attention to fine detail. They are fit for technical work, suchas engineering and architecture.

They are alert, but have a lack of courage. This makes them unsuitable aspolice officers, entrepreneurs or other leadership and political positions.Although Rats make good financial decisions, they should be careful not toinvest with a close friend. It will not only cause money problems, but alsoaffect 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 seriousillnesses.

They are sensitive to change in temperature. Not only is cold weatherunbearable for them, they also can’t stand hot weather. But despite seemingweak 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 intowork and forget to eat. Going long periods without food and suddenly bingeingcause problems in their digestive system. Enemies of their health also includesmoking and drinking habits.

For a healthy life, Rats must remember to eat breakfast, do moderate exerciseand remain cheerful.

Rats in the Year of the Rat (2020)

Although a zodiac’s year is traditionally the most unfortunate, laden with badomens and mishaps, 2020 will perform reasonably well for the Rat. Success willcome in the form of career; celebrate the fact that your efforts will berewarded and seen. On the other hand, your health and relationships will proveto be a struggle. Visit your doctor at the first sign of illness, and worktoward creating a loving, open environment for all of your relationships. Theyear 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 willnot be among them. Success will flourish in the workplace, yielding benefitsof all kinds. Hard work will be rewarded; your clever skills, quick-thinking,and optimism will drive you forward. Exclusive bonuses will come to those bornin the first half of the year. Rats born in the following months will have topush a bit harder for their goals.

Finances will be booming for the entirety of the year! Your income might evendouble. It would do you well to save and invest your hard-earned money. Try toavoid spending it all on luxurious items and vacations. Instead, splurge onlittle experiences here and there. Take your family to a theme park or yourhusband 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 yourstudies, you will surely meet your goals. Be wary of your well-being; stressover your course schedule might get you down and even cause illness. Avoidsickness by pairing vitamins with at least seven to eight hours of sleep andproper nutrition. Although you might want to enjoy a full social calendar, itwould be better to take some downtime to recuperate.


Vulnerable to sicknesses, like colds and fatigue, the Rat will have to beextra careful in 2020. At the first sign of symptoms, head to your generalpractitioner immediately. The faster you get medicine and the treatment youneed, the quicker you will heal. To stay healthy, do your body a favor and eatmore proteins and vegetables; boost your immune system by adding vitamins toyour diet as well. As a general rule, proper diet, exercise, and sleep keepone healthy.


Luck is also not in your favor this year for love. Romance will be hard tocome by for married couples and singles alike. You will face many strugglesthroughout the year; however, your innate positivity will help you pushthrough hard times. If you’re single, it is best to avoid longing for apartner 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 newpeople. Take this bad news and look for the bright side!

The same misfortune goes for married couples; be on the lookout for challengesin your relationship. Petty arguments, financial battles, or suspicions mightplague your love-life. When these issues surface, don’t let them fester. Dealwith everything head on to experience a better year. Focus on the love youhave for your partner; this person is your home, your safe zone, and yourbeloved. 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 relationshipsand health will be the areas that suffer. Overall, the year has a far betteroutlook than one’s typical zodiac year suggests. Rats should rejoice in theirgood fortune. Their natural ability to create success is a gift, a gift thatwill prove itself in financial gain. If you are feeling nervous about the yearahead, protect yourself with a Buddha statue. And have hope for good times tocome amidst misfortune.

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