Chinese New Year 2020 – The Year of the Rat!
The Chinese zodiac is a repeating cycle of 12 years, each represented by a different animal.
The order of the animals is thought to have been decided because of a race the Jade Emperor organised a long time ago. The Jade Emperor was one of the most important gods in traditional Chinese religion and all the animals in the world were invited to take part. Twelve species of animals turned up to the start line to compete in the race: a rooster, a sheep, a rabbit, an ox, a pig, a monkey, a dragon, a dog, a horse, a snake, a tiger and a rat.
The order of the Chinese zodiac is as follows: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and finally, Pig.
The Rat is the first of all the zodiac animals because the Rat won the race by tricking the Ox into giving him a ride. Just before the finishing line, the Rat jumped off the Ox’s back and landed ahead of the Ox.
This year, the Year of the Rat begins on the 25th January 2020 and lasts until 11th February 2021.
Recent years of the Rat: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996 and 2008.
In Chinese culture, rats are seen as a symbol of wealth and people born in the Year of the Rat are thought to be quick-thinking, alert and tend to be brilliant business people. They are considered to be good at saving money, but they can sometimes waste their money on unnecessary things. They are optimistic, energetic, kind and sensitive to other people’s emotions. However, they are believed to have poor communication skills so they may come across as impolite and rude.
People born in the Rat Year have a few lucky colours, such as blue, gold and green and they should avoid unlucky yellows and browns. Their lucky numbers are 2 and 3 and their unlucky numbers are 5 and 9.
Written by: Holly Pigache