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The Year of the RatThe Chinese Zodiac is a traditional system of categorization of personality attributes based on an individual’s year of birth. It is believed to be 2000 years old and emerges from the Han dynasty. The cyclical pattern repeats every 12 years and every one of those 12 years is associated with an animal. The characteristics of that animal are then used to predict the traits and behavior of the person in that year.

The Years of the Rat are unique in the sense that they are first in the cycle of Chinese Zodiac. The ‘Rat’ people are hence known to be pioneers of ventures; visionaries who reach places where no one has gone before. In the system, the years of Ox follow the years of Rat.

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

The Rat is a smart animal with an uncanny ‘feel’ of situation. Alertness, flexibility and quick wit are some of the other positives associated with this animal. According to ancient Chinese wisdom, these characteristics are also reflected in the people born in the year of the rat.


The Rat people like to work for success rather than dwell on destiny. They are focused, hard-working and street-smart. It does not take them long to achieve their objectives. Bubbling with energy, they are highly active people. You would rarely find a rat sitting quietly!

A specific mention needs to be made of their problem solving skills. They are exceptional solution finders; for themselves and for the people around them. No difficulty is tough enough for them.

Generally endowed with a good sense of humor, they love sharp wit and ‘comebacks’ in a conversation. They are adaptive, talkative and in general good people to be friends with. They can be trusted advisors as well. As natural networkers, they build connections is easy.  However they may find themselves with a high number of acquaintances in the rolodex vs. right-hand confidantes.

The Rat is highly organized and industrious. But the rat people are also known to constantly change their areas of interest and build things from a scratch. They like to explore new places and are frequent travelers as well.


Their ambition may work against them at times. When pursuing goals, they can be ruthless. Their drive for realization in their goals may lead them into vicious traps.

They always have ways to earn money but they have even more ways to spend their money!

They are not always able to express their emotions as they wish. This may lead to building up of negative energy. Hence they are susceptible to bouts of anger at inopportune times.

They might be given to stubborn behavior often at their own peril.

They do not ‘forgive and forget’ easily and may remain resentful to people whom they perceive as offenders.


Hardwork, shrewdness and some of the other qualities outlined above ensure that they rise quickly through the ranks when part of any organization. They do well when there is structure to their jobs. They make efficient financiers, analysts and detectives. They are also good communicators and hence do well in sales, consultancy and politics.

They thrive under challenging circumstances and bank on their problem solving skills to advance their careers. They are the backbone of the job culture. They enjoy working in teams and can ably motivate their colleagues to do better work.

Some rat people may be timid by nature and may not perform well in positions of authority.

Rats are trustworthy, loving and committed to their partner!


As noted earlier, rat people are great people to be around because of their wit, charm and concern for society.

They invest strongly in relationships and expect the same from their partners. They may become suspicious easily and need frequent assurances of commitment.

In relationships, they are highly sensual and love physical stimulation of every sort. Romantically, they are understated and are intrigued by being led.

They have excellent relations with the Dragon, Monkey, Ox and Snake.

What works?

Numbers: 2, 3.

Colors: Light Blue, Green

Flowers: Lily, African Violet

Cameron DiazMarlon Brando

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