It’s the Year of the Rat! A Brief Intro to the Chinese Zodiac

In the Chinese zodiac, the year you were born determines your overall birth sign horoscope, which, like your sun sign, can be used as a general reference or starting point.

Similar to Western astrology, the Chinese zodiac is widely misunderstood. Just as your Western sign would be incomplete if taken without your Rising and Moon signs, so too is your Chinese zodiac incomplete without facial characteristics, palmistry, and the exact month, day, and hour you were born.

Keeping in mind that the ‘year’ in the Chinese zodiac goes by the Lunar New Year (which starts sometime between January 21st and February 20th depending on the year), here is a basic guideline to which animal you are based on your birth year:

Rat

Years: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020

Characteristics: Quick-witted, resourceful, versatile, kind

Ox

Years: 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021

Characteristics: Diligent, dependable, strong, determined

Tiger

Years: 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022

Characteristics: Brave, confident, competitive

Rabbit

Years: 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023

Characteristics: Quiet, elegant, kind, responsible

Dragon

Years: 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024

Characteristics: Confident, intelligent, enthusiastic

Snake

Years: 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025

Characteristics: Enigmatic, intelligent, cunning

Horse

Years: 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026

Characteristics: Animated, energetic, warm-hearted

Goat

Years: 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027

Characteristics: Calm, gentle, sympathetic

Monkey

Years: 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028

Characteristics: Sharp, smart, curious

Rooster

Years: 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029

Goat

Years: 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027

Characteristics: Calm, gentle, sympathetic

Monkey

Years: 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028

Characteristics: Observant, hardworking, courageous

Dog

Years: 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030

Characteristics: Loving, honest, prudent

Pig

Years: 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031

Characteristics: Compassionate, generous, diligent

The Missing Cat

You’ll notice there is no cat zodiac — the forgotten cat is a well-known story. As the tale goes, the Jade Emperor held a race to determine which animals would be honoured by having their own zodiac year.

The cat, who was good friends with the rat, asked the rat to wake him when the race began. The rat forgot about the poor cat, and that’s why cats today are always chasing after those sneaky lil’ rats.

The Year of the Rat

This year, 2020, is the year of the rat. It begins January 25th and ends on February 11th, 2021.

People born in rat years are well-suited to be directors, administrators, lawyers, musicians, or artists thanks to their dual traits of quick-wittedness and kindness.

Rats can expect many challenges in 2020 — your birth year is believed to be unlucky — but this also gives you an opportunity to prove yourself.

Fend off bad luck in your zodiac year by wearing red, especially red underwear — but make sure they’re bought by a spouse, family member, or friend. Rat’s lucky numbers are 2 and 3, and their lucky colors are blue, gold, and green.

In 2020, we can all live our best lives by wearing blue, gold, green, and especially red. Embrace the quick-wittedness, resourcefulness, and kindness of the rat, and you’ll increase your chances of an auspicious year ahead.

Alex Prong
About the author

Alex Prong is a bartender, fern enthusiast, and writer who prefers writing pieces that blur the lines of genre. Alex tends to ascribe cosmic significance to trivial events and people. You can find her sitting at a kitchen island, wearing cabin socks and lingerie, and writing erotica about the woman who delivers her mail. ☉ Scorpio ☽ Cancer ↑ Leo

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