Calling all Rats; your year is almost here

Welcome to the Year of the Rat (beginning January 25), a title applicable to so much more than the upcoming Chinese and Vietnamese New Years. Zodiac Rats were born in 1936, 1948,1960, 1972, 1984, 2008 and 2020. Other kinds of rats are born every day of every year.

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 twelve zodiac animals.”

Different sources don’t agree on everything, but some say the rat’s lucky numbers are two and three and its lucky colors are gold, blue and green.

For mates, the rat would do well to choose an ox, rabbit or dragon. Strange pairings under normal conditions, and according to the analysts these rats like to play around before settling down.

part of Vietnamese celebration

As you might imagine, the rat has any number of different qualities depending on which website you read. Some of the positive ratty characteristics are that they’re charming, intelligent, witty,  and outgoing. Rats also like to collect things. Think pack rat. Less fetching traits include being restless, picky, stubborn and greedy. Some say rats are good leaders because they do a better job of directing others than themselves.

Performers in Vietnamese NY Celebration-Tet

As a practical matter, The Feng Shui experts recommend Rats wear amulets with rat symbols (bracelets, pendants, key rings). At home, they might want to place a statue representing a golden rat, the symbol of prosperity and luck, “in the northern side of the bedroom or living room.”

Curious as to what the fortune tellers predicted about how my zodiac animal — the dog — would fare in this rat year, I learned that I should place a dog statue in my bedroom — southern side — and carry a dog amulet with me at all times. At least they don’t tell me to buy a dog, which would cause great conflict at home (with my cat), in a year in which they predict great luck for me and other canines.

Enough on rats. By tomorrow I’ll be seeing ads for golden rat statues and keychains on Facebook.


About stillalife

I retired June 30, 2010 after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district. I wrote for superintendents and school board members. Now I'm writing for me and I hope for you. In this blog, I offer my own views coupled with the latest research on how to preserve our physical and mental health as we age, delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace, and throw in an occasional book review, all peppered with a touch of humor, irony, and just plain silliness. Also, I'm on the third draft of my second novel since retirement.
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4 Responses to Calling all Rats; your year is almost here

  1. Darlene says:

    Thanks, Ann—always a fun read. I have a couple of small dog statues and earrings—perhaps I’d better wear those bulldog earrings more frequently this year.

  2. stillalife says:

    I don’t know about bulldogs. Maybe you should stick with Huskies.

  3. dkzody says:

    This dragon married a rat. We will celebrate 45 years together on February 1. Seems like that point proved correct. As for the others, eh, not so much.

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