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Year of the Rat

Happy New Year!

The Year of the Rat

2020 is a year of the Rat, starting from January 25th, 2020 and lasting until February 11th, 2021. It will be a Metal Rat year. In 2021, a year of the Ox will follow.

The Year of the Rat is the first zodiac sign in the Chinese zodiac cycle. According to the Chinese zodiac story, in the competition held by the Jade Emperor to decide the zodiac animals, the quick-witted rat asked the diligent ox to take him on a ride to cross the river and jumped down before the ox crossed the finish line, so the rat won the race and became the first of the zodiac animals.

The 12 zodiac animals are, in order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. A Rat year occurs every 12 years.

Rat Years

Recent Rat years are 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, and 2020.

The Chinese zodiac is associated with traditional Chinese chronology — a 60-year calendrical cycle, which is the combination of the 12 Earthly Branches (12 terms corresponding to 12 animals, months, and hours) and the 10 Heavenly Stems.

According to this, the Rat represents the Earthly Branch Zi and the midnight hours (11pm–1am). Moreover, in terms of the Chinese Yin and Yang theory, a Rat is Yang.

Therefore, if you were born in January or February in one of the above years, you might be a Rat, or possibly a Pig.


Delmy Alvarenga
by Delmy Alvarenga

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