Chinese Zodiac


The Rat is the first of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. The Rat tricked the Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived at the finish line, Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox, becoming first.

The Rat is also associated with the Earthly Branch ( 地支 / dì zhī) Zi ( ) and the midnight hours. In the terms of yin and yang ( 阴阳 / yīn yáng), the Rat is yang and represents the beginning of a new day.

Rats are clever, quick thinkers; successful, but content with living a quiet and peaceful life.

In Chinese culture, rats were seen as a sign of wealth and surplus. Because of their reproduction rate, married couples also prayed to them for children.

Paired with the Celestial Stems ( 天干 / Tiān gān), there is a 60-year calendrical cycle. Although zi is associated with water, the years also cycle through the five elements of nature ( 五行 / wǔ xíng).

Recent years of the Rat

Year Zodiac Earthly Branch Celestial Stem Element Yin Yang
1924 Rat zi jiǎ Wood Yang
1936 Rat zi bǐng Fire Yang
1948 Rat zi Earth Yang
1960 Rat zi gēng Metal Yang
1972 Rat zi rén Water Yang
1984 Rat zi jiǎ Wood Yang
1996 Rat zi bǐng Fire Yang
2008 Rat zi Earth Yang
2020 Rat zi gēng Metal Yang

Personality and Characteristics

Optimistic and energetic, people born in the Rat year are likable by all. They are sensitive to other’s emotions but are stubborn with your opinion. Their personality is kind, but due to weak communication skills, their words may seem impolite and rude.

On the financial side, they like saving and can be stingy. However, their love for hoarding will sometimes cause them to waste money on unnecessary things.

Elements and fortunes

Element Year Fortune
Metal 1960, 2020 These Rats tend to be reliable and live a stable life. They may hold some power and are able to turn unlucky events into fortune.
Water 1972, 2032 These Rats encounter hardships in the early days. They become successful during their middle ages and create a happy family. However, relatives and close friends may weigh them down.
Wood 1924, 1984 These Rats are multi-talented. They are strong-willed and always finish what they begin.
Fire 1936, 1996 These Rats have high IQs and EQs. They are average during youth, develop well in the middle ages and have great fortune later in life.
Metal 1948, 2008 These Rats are good speakers. They’re the mood makers of a group, but can be slightly possessive. They face difficulties in their youth, but are generally able to withstand them.

Men born in the Rat year are clever and adapt quickly to new environments. They are creative great at taking advantage of opportunities. However, they sometimes lack the courage to do so. Although they have great ideas, they might not be suitable for leadership positions.

Women born in the Rat year are the traditional women. They love keeping things organized and place great value on the family. Everything is taken care of by them and there is no need for their husband to worry. Outside of home, they’re also someone with a sense of responsibility and ability.


Most compatible with Rat: Ox , Dragon , Monkey

Rat’s fixed Earthly Branch is water, while Ox is earth. They complement and help one another in both work and life.

Couples that are formed from Rat and Dragon will be able to understand each other well, and enjoy success together.

Similar to Dragons, Monkeys get along great with Rats, and tend to live happily ever after like a fairytale.

Least compatible with Rat: Horse , Goat and Rabbit

The Earthly Branches of Rat and Horse clash strongly. No matter what a Rat does, it won’t be enough for the Horse.

Goats are attracted to Rat’s wealth and hope to control it, making it a rocky relationship.

The Rabbit will either purposely or unintentionally go against the Rat’s wishes, while the Rat can only keep silent.

Lucky things for Rats

  • Colors: blue, gold, green
  • Numbers: 2, 3
  • Flowers: lily, African violet, valley lily
  • Directions of auspiciousness: southeast, northeast
  • Directions of wealth: southeast, east
  • Directions of love: west

Unlucky things

  • Colors: yellow, brown
  • Numbers: 5, 9

Careers Fit for Rats

Because of their independence and imagination, they are suitable for creative jobs. These include authors, editors and artists. However, if they join a team, their creative outlet may be blocked.

Rats also pay attention to fine detail. They are fit for technical work, such as engineering and architecture.

They are alert, but have a lack of courage. This makes them unsuitable as police officers, entrepreneurs or other leadership and political positions. Although Rats make good financial decisions, they should be careful not to invest with a close friend. It will not only cause money problems, but also affect the friendship.

Health and Lifestyle

Since childhood, Rats have frail health. They have energetic personalities, but tire quickly. They catch colds often, but thankfully do not have serious illnesses.

They are sensitive to change in temperature. Not only is cold weather unbearable for them, they also can’t stand hot weather. But despite seeming weak and not being able to perform hard physical work, they enjoy longevity.

Rats can eat anything, whether they are delicacies or plain food. However, they should pay attention to their diet. Many times, they will get too into work and forget to eat. Going long periods without food and suddenly bingeing cause problems in their digestive system. Enemies of their health also include smoking and drinking habits.

For a healthy life, Rats must remember to eat breakfast, do moderate exercise and remain cheerful.


Rats in the Year of the Rabbit (2023)

The year of 2023 will be a polarizing one for the Rat, owing to the opposing but equally powerful forces of “Xing Tai Sui” and the auspicious stars of “Yue De” and “Wen Chang”. Essentially, one will cause no end of troubles, minor illnesses and even temporary disasters for the Rat, while the other will ameliorate those troubles and make sure they’re not impossible to handle. The key for the Rat is to carry out all ventures with care and prudence, and making rash decisions is a huge no-no at least for 2023.

In terms of different aspects of their fortune, the Rat is mostly out of luck in love and relationships, while career and finances will be rather thorny despite a generally positive trend. At the same time, if the Rat was wavering in previous years as to the direction that they wanted to take their careers, this will stop in 2023. The Rat will gain conviction and fortitude, which will give them endless motivations for any professional challenges they may face in the future.

This may sound ephemeral, but the Rat’s spirit will undergo such a complete transformation in 2023 that they’ll hardly recognize themselves by year’s end!

Love and Relationships in 2023

In 2023, love won’t go very smoothly for the Rat, owing to several inauspicious aspects in their chart. Single Rats will most likely stay single by the end of the year, because even though they could meet several prospective mates throughout 2023, they will discover either undesirable traits in their new romantic interest, or else the person never meant to pursue anything serious with the Rat.

Despite this, the Rat is encouraged to develop themselves and reflect on their own romantic patterns that may be standing in their way of finding love. They tend to be too easygoing and not very decisive, for example, which could be detrimental for male Rats in particular. Work on this, and true and sustainable romance won’t be far in your future!

Rats who are already partnered up may be prone to quarreling with their significant other, and if this goes on for too long, their partners could begin to check out of the relationship and look elsewhere for something less troublesome. Nurture your relationship with openness and honesty, and make sure the channel of communication is open no matter how long you’ve been together – five months or 50 years, the challenges and rewards of a satisfying relationship never changes!

Career in 2023

Entering 2023, the career aspect of the Rat is in general trending up, however, due to the influences of Xing Tai Sui, they’ll most likely encounter obstacles in the workplace. Fear not, however, as they’ll be annoyances rather than anything serious or debilitating, such as colleagues gossiping behind their backs, being unrecognized by higher-ups, or feeling a disconnect with their work environment.

These temporary situations will resolve themselves in time, provided the Rat charge forward with courage and conviction. Think of them as opportunities to learn, for example, how to maintain good relationships with your co-workers, or how to make sure higher-ups or people with resources notice your effort, which will be a huge boon for all Rats this year whether you work for a company or own your own business.

Overall, the year of 2023 should end on a positive note for the Rat in their careers, once they find that inner resolve, which will serve them in many years to come!

Wealth in 2023

Just like career, the financial fortune of the Rat will show an uptick, but this luck shouldn’t be taken for granted as there’s a risk of overspending, especially in investments. On the positive spectrum, the Rat is likely to meet experts and more experienced investors who can give them pointers in this area, but it rests on the Rat to be humble and stay open to learning.

In terms of work income, the Rat is likely to see projects that have been stagnating finally move out of the back-end and start growing in the real world, which should give them a raise by year’s end, provided they can tough out the relatively more difficult time in the beginning of the year.

The Rat must watch their spending this year, because they will face many unnecessary expenses if they’re not careful. Budgeting will be a must for 2023, if you don’t organize your finances in this way, and save as much as possible unless something is more of a long-term investment. In general, save rather than spend, and you’ll end the year on a very prosperous note!

Education in 2023

This is a year of real learning for younger Rats who are still in school. This means accumulating knowledge from books and classes, as well as learning how to associate with your friends, classmates, teachers and even your parents. Stay humble and open, and when trouble pops up, whether it’s a cold shoulder from a friend or misunderstanding with your teachers, learn to navigate the situation rather than throw your hands up in the air or blame it on the other party. If you feel confused, you can always ask your siblings or your parents for help. This should be a valuable skill as you grow up.

In terms of school, hard work will pay off, although not always as immediately as you may have hoped. Play the long game across all areas of life, because you’re young yet and the world will offer as many lessons as opportunities for you in 2023!

Health in 2023

Minor illnesses are likely to populate the year of 2023 for Rats, so please keep an eye on how far you’re pushing your body, and whether you’re giving it proper nourishment in terms of food and exercises. If anything feels off, head to the hospital for a check-up. You can’t be too careful this year!

No matter how busy you are in the workplace, incorporate mild and regenerative exercises like taking a stroll in the park or biking to work into your daily routine. If you have existing health conditions, make sure to consult your doctor regularly. One of the stars, “Da Hao”, suggests that the general wear and tear of the Rat’s body this year will be exacerbated, so don’t stay up too late and try to cut back your alcohol intake, as such processes which can slowly deteriorate your health may act much quicklier this year.

Rats in the Year of the Tiger (2022)

The year of 2021 is likely one of some turbulence for people born in years of the Rat. Fortunately, the lunar year of 2022, which will start on February 1, is likely to be a much better year for this group. The bad luck you experienced in 2021 will be completely washed away and replaced by happiness and joy in many aspects of life.

At the same time, Rat natives may be prone to impulsive behavior in 2022, with a penchant for being nosy. Make sure to curb this tendency in yourself and learn to control your temper in order to enjoy your luck in 2022 to the fullest.

Love and Relationships in 2022

In 2022, your luck in love and relationships is only average, although men will find better fortune than women. If you are single, you will meet new love interests, but they are not likely to be for the long haul. You will find it difficult to start real and solid relationships with them. Make sure to protect yourself against people who may have ulterior motives in approaching you. Practice prudence in love.

For those already in a relationship, make sure to rein in your temper in 2022, otherwise this year could prove disastrous for your relationship or marriage. You may find yourself extra impulsive or temperamental in 2022, no matter what zodiac sign your partner may have. Make special effort to maintain peace and harmony at home and avoid conflicts with your partner, which may quickly escalate out of hand.

Career in 2022

If work did not go smoothly in 2021, you can breathe a sigh of relief as 2022 approaches. Stagnant ventures or stalled development from the previous year will be cleared away and you will enjoy better fortune in terms of leadership and personal development. In particular, if you find your superiors uninspiring or your work environment not suited for growth, 2022 will be a great year for you to change jobs or even industries if you believe it will mean more potential in the future.

But no matter what happens at work in 2022, do not allow it to affect your home life, otherwise it could prove straining for your marriage or love relationship. There will also be some pressure and competition, but rest assured that as long as you use your intelligence and keen observation to your advantage you will come out ahead.

Wealth in 2022

You are likely to have luck in terms of wealth in 2022, especially when compared to 2021. You will find your income increasing steadily. This will include income from work, side businesses and any investment you may have. Make sure you are putting some of your extra money away in a savings account, however, otherwise you may easily waste the surplus without realizing it.

This is a great opportunity to learn how to manage your money better and invest in a sensible way—real estate may be a good option as a hedge against riskier investment instruments for Rat natives, both in general and in 2022.

Education in 2022

Students born in years of the Rat, likely those born in 2008 or 1996, should focus on their studies and not yield to your tendency to play. This will be especially important for those preparing for a college or graduate school application. While your luck in this area is not as strong as it is in other areas, as long as you work hard, you will be amply rewarded for your effort.

Health in 2022

In 2022, you will enjoy better physical health, although Rat natives born in 1984 may encounter problems with their shoulders and muscles and experience back pain. Elder Rat natives are advised to check up on their kidney and urinary systems to guard against potentially serious health problems.

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