The Year of the Rat

Year of the Rat

Though rats are not generally well liked animals and often seen as pests, they are actually intelligent creatures who can survive through any situation. Similarly, those born during the Year of the Rat are quick witted, resourceful, and versatile. People born under the sign of the Rat share the animal’s ability to adapt and they easily adjust to new environments. Rat people are also said to possess strong intuition and acute observational skills. While they possess traits that fly in the face of negative stereotypes, those born under the sign of the Rat to share the animal’s timid and greedy nature.

Basic Astrology Elements

Though most people are aware of the yearly assignment of the Chinese Zodiac signs, Chinese astrology digs deeper and each sign is also tied to a month, day, and hours. The sign of the year you were born represents how you present yourself, your birth month represents your inner self, the day of your birth is your true self, and the hour you were born reveals your secret self. Figuring out your 4 pillars can help you gain a deeper understanding of yourself.

The Rat is in the 1st position of the 12-year cycle of the Chinese Zodiac

Years of the Rat: 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020

Earthly Branch of Birth Year: 子 Zi

Wu Xing (The Five Elements): Water (Shui)

Yin Yang: Yang

Chinese Symbol: The Year of the Rat Shǔ

Season: Winter

Lunar Month: 11th

Gregorian Date and Western Zodiac Equivalent: Dec 7-Dec 21 Sagittarius or Dec 22- Jan 5 Capricorn

Solar Term and Longitude: 251°大雪 dàxuě or 271°冬至 dōngzhì

Hours (based on local solar time): 23:00 – 00:59 This is the time when Rats are most active in seeking food

Days: Zodiac animal of the day you were born can be calculated here:

Personality Traits

Those born under the sign of the Rat are acute and alert people with great instincts. They have an innate sense of curiosity and try new things often. They have deft and skillful hands and succeed at many tasks. Though they encompass many admirable traits, they make poor leaders. They lack courage to take charge of situations. Instead, they like to complain and criticize others for their shortcomings. Despite their occasional rudeness, rat are genial people and well-liked by many different people.

Positive Traits: Adaptable, Positive, Outgoing, Cheerful, Shrewd, Industrious, Charismatic, Meticulous

Negative Traits: Timid, Picky, Argumentative, Unstable, Stubborn, Gives up easily, Impolite, Narrow minded

Elemental Variations

The elemental variations of those born under the sign of the Rat have varied, yet similar personalities.

Fire Rat: 1936 and 1996

Fire rats are gentle, vigorous, and brave and often make good athletes. They love the outdoors and seek adventure. They are persistent and careful in everything they do. Fire rats aren’t afraid of setbacks, instead they are optimistic and enterprising. They work hard to achieve their goals. They lack social skills and worldly wisdom and have trouble making friends. Their fare better in romantic relationships and have great luck in love.

Earth Rat: 1948 and 2008

Earth rats are realists who aren’t fooled by the superficial illusions of society. They value order, stability, and security. They are highly loyal to those they care for and maintain long lasting friendships. Though they are very measured, others see them as stubborn. Earth rats are also self-righteous and often force people to see things their way. They are lucky throughout life and always turn ill fortune around. They are passive in love and have a hard time forming romantic relationships.

Metal Rat: 1960

As idealists, metal rats are positive people who are motivated to do well in all areas of their life. They are charming, attractive, and value beautiful things. In romantic relationships, these traits make them jealous and possessive. They are also stubborn and unyielding when they think they are right. Their outward joy and charm make it hard for others to see their negative traits. Metal rats have expensive tastes and they will spend a lot of money to get what they want. However, they have good luck in wealth and never have to worry about money.

Water Rat: 1972

Water rats are compassionate and quick-minded people who often bring unique perspectives to the situation. They are excel at overcoming obstacles and will always be successful in life. They are find success in their career by building strong interpersonal relationships and working hard. Water rats are good at seizing opportunities and know how to create more wealth. Though they are good at making connections with people, they would rather be alone.

Wood Rat: 1984

Wood rats are smart people who always have bright ideas. Though they are intelligent and creative thinkers, they rarely act on their ideas and miss many opportunities. They are group oriented and prefer to live in the safety and comfort of a group rather than trying to stand out. Wood rats are hard workers, but lack the perseverance, patience, and proficiency to succeed. They are highly moral people and value peace over war. They have good luck in wealth, but manage their money poorly.

Career Options

People born under the sign of the Rat are dexterous and skilled workers. They are cautious, meticulous, and they are able to quickly pick things up. They are best suited for jobs that require great technical skills. As long as they stay dedicated to their work, they will have successful careers. Rats also possess shrewd minds and excel in grabbing business opportunities. However, they lack persistence and are rarely successful in their enterprises.

Best Career Options: Writer, Musician, Editor, Craftsman, Gardener, Researcher, Administrator, Stand-up Comedian


Rats are unusually lucky in all aspects of their life, but often fail to act on these opportunities and turn their good luck into long lasting prosperity.

Lucky Numbers: 2,3
Lucky Colors: Gold, Blue, Green
Lucky Flowers: Any type of Lily, African Violet
Lucky Directions: West, Northwest, and Southwest
Lucky Days: The 4th and 13th of every Chinese lunar month
Lucky Months: The 2nd, 5th and 9th Chinese lunar months

Unlucky Numbers: 5, 9
Unlucky Colors: Yellow and Brown
Unlucky Directions: South and Southeast
Unlucky Months: The 4th, 10th, and 12th Chinese lunar months


Those born during the Year of the Rat enjoy flexible social circles. Though they have many friendships, they never take things deeper to develop intimate relationships. Rats are very social and enjoy going to events. They are charming and have no trouble attracting members of the opposite sex. This can be problematic for their love life. They start relationships easily, but end them with as much ease. When they do find a suitable partner, they are delicate, tender, and understanding. As long as rats are patient and faithful, they will find long lasting love.

Best Matches: Ox, Dragon, Rabbit

Rats need devotion and understanding to have successful relationships. Oxen admire Rats passion and stay true and loyal. This makes for a loving and kind relationship. Rats and Dragons have similar characteristics, respect, and understand each other. They stay positive in their relationship and push each other toward success. Rabbits and Rats have a sincere and honest relationship and they are able to rely on each other.

Worst Matches: Horse, Sheep, Rooster

Rats need people who are supportive and wilt under harsh criticism. The Rooster will never understand the Rat and has no problem pointing out the Rat’s shortcomings. Horses and Rats are both stubborn and self-centered, neither one will yield to the other. Sheep and Rats have differing values and it’s hard for them to compromise and understand each other.

Good Friends: Tiger, Pig, Snake

Rats need people who can push them to succeed in a way that is complementary to their character. Snakes will listen to the Rat and help them maintain a cheerful attitude. The Tiger and the Rat are able to see things from the other’s perspective and rarely fight. The Rat benefits from the Pig’s persistence and together they are able to achieve goals.