Happy Year of the Rat!


Today the first day of the Chinese Lunar Year. This is the biggest celebration of the year in China and lasts several weeks. It is known as the Spring Festival in China.

Below is a family in Beijing stepping on the symbol of the rat because it is the Year of the Rat.


Here’s more on the Chinese zodiac, just for fun!

If you were born in the years 1948,1960,1972,1984,1996,2008,2020, you are a rat. You…are creative, ambitious, and hardworking…are most compatible with a dragon, a monkey, or an ox…might make an excellent critic, publicist, or sales person.

If you were born in the years 1949,1961,1973,1985, or 1997, you are an ox. You…are loyal, patient, and dependable…are most compatible with a snake, a rooster, or a rat…could become a brilliant surgeon, general, or hairdresser.

If you were born in the years 1950,1962,1974,1986, or 1998, you are a tiger. You…are a born leader and are known for your courage and bravery…are most compatible with horses, dragons, and dogs…might make an excellent explorer, race-car driver, or animal trainer.

If you were born in the years 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, or 1999, you are a rabbit. You…are ambitious and smooth talking, but also trustworthy…are best matched with sheep, pigs, and dogs…would be a great banker, lawyer, actor, diplomat, or interior designer.

If you were born in the years 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, or 2000, you are a dragon. You…are brilliant, honest, and full of vitality and enthusiasm. Some say dragons are the stars of the universe…are most compatible with rats, snakes, roosters, and monkeys…could become an outstanding politician, artist, or talk show host.

If you were born in the years 1953,1965,1977,1989, or 2001, you are a snake. You…are most respected for your wisdom…get along best with the ox or the rooster…may be very successful as a philosopher, psychiatrist, writer, or teacher.

If you were born in the years 1954,1966,1978,1990, or 2002, you are a horse. You…are cheerful, talkative, hardworking, and independent…get along best with other horses, sheep, tigers, or dogs…would make a fine poet, scientist, explorer, or politician.

If you were born in the years 1955,1967,1979,1991, or 2003, you are a sheep. You…are gentle, loving, passionate, and creative…are best suited to marrying a rabbit, a pig, or a horse…might become a wonderful gardener, actor, or therapist.

If you were born in the years 1956,1968,1980,1992, or 2004, you are a monkey. You…are often praised for your intelligence, quick wit, and creativity…are most attracted to rats, dragons, rabbits, and sheep…have diverse talents and are good at almost everything you do.

If you were born in the years 1957,1969,1981, 1993, or 2005, you are a rooster. You…are proud confident, aggressive, and ambitious…are most compatible with oxen, snakes, and dragons…would excel as a restaurant owner, soldier, or world traveler.

If you were born in the years 1958,1970,1982,1994, or 2006, you are a dog. You…are considered the most loyal and honest in the zodiac…get along best with horses, tigers, sheep, or rabbits…could be successful as a political activist, teacher, or secret agent.

If you were born in the years 1959,1971,1983,1995, or 2007, you are a pig. You…are usually hardworking, caring, trustworthy, kind, and affectionate, despite your name…are most suited to other pigs or sheep…would be a wonderful comedian, artist, or lawyer.

This is from the book Moonbeams, Dumplings, & Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, Activities & Recipes by Nina Simonds, Leslie Swartz, & The Children’s Museum, Boston.

I am a dog. Sorry for all of you rats and snakes! Just kidding! I have a rat in my family, and he is fantastic! Actually all of the animals are considered good by the Chinese, I believe, with some favoritism given to the dragon. There are several stories about how each year was given an animal. The most popular story is that the Jade Emperor wanted to choose one animal for each year of the 12-year cycle, so he had a race. The elephant was the judge because he was known to be fair and calm. All the animals in the kingdom competed, but these twelve were the winners of the race.

Here’s a cute little rat for all of you rats our there.


Happy New Year!



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6 responses to “Happy Year of the Rat!

  1. you loving husband

    so does the year start with their new year? is a person born in January actually the year prior? Because the difference between a monkey and a rooster is important!

  2. I have no idea–why don’t you research that and let us know.

  3. your loving husband

    according to this http://www.chineseart.com/chinese-zodiac-1.htm

    you are the previous year. so…I’m a Monkey

  4. your loving husband

    oh and your son that you think is a rat is really a pig.

  5. Alison

    That Nina Simonds book is great. Did you know she has a website at http://www.spicesoflife.com? It updates regularly and has recipes — she just did a post on Chinese New Year!

  6. Given the chart, Amanda and I are in good shape on the marriage thing, and I think she would be good at all of her potential professions. You’ll have to ask her which one she is. 🙂

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