There's a rat in my kitchen...
The Chinese Year of the Rat
Chinese New Year begins on the day of the second new moon after the Winter Solstice. That means this year it begins on January 25th and runs through to 11th February 2021. Following the lunar-solar calendar, it corresponds to the Rat and the element of Metal.
Legend relates that the Lord Buddha who, upon realising the organisation of the nation, decided to hold a party on the occasion of the Chinese New year. He invited all the animals to his party. It is said that the rat was quick and clever and craftily hitched a ride on the back of the Ox. The Ox was strong and steady and made great progress, getting ahead of all the other animals. On nearing the finish line, the rat jumped off and crossed the line ahead of the Ox, arriving at the party first. Buddha declared that to honour the animals who came, he would award them a year of their own. The order the animals appear in the calendar would be decided by the order in which they arrived at the party. Hence the Rat became the first of the twelve 'branches' or years of the lunar-solar calendar.
1924 & 1984 - Wood Rat
1936 & 1996 - Fire Rat
1948 & 2008 - Earth Rat
1960 & 2020 - Metal Rat
1972 & 2032 - Water Rat
Whilst these animal branches recur every 12 years, each one also corresponds to one of the five elements, or phases, and will have an effect on the personality of each one accordingly. Metal Rats can be relied upon to transform unfortunate situations into fortunate ones. Whilst intensely emotional, the Metal Rat may cover up their emotions and hold them inside. They are also thought to be excellent speakers but tend towards idealism. Rats of any element like to live a stable life but at the same time thrive on adventure and travel. Asian cultures deem the Rat to be intelligent, quick and nimble and is seen as a very intelligent animal. They are also very loyal and make good friends and devoted family members. They love to be kept busy to satisfy their restless and inquisitive minds and tend to be quick witted with a great sense of humour. Being the first on the calendar, they strive to be pioneers, often leading the way and with their excellent eye for detail and innate intuition, they are top of the list for problem solving and easily find solutions to problems when no-one else can. Whilst they are great at creating and recognising new opportunities, they sometimes lack the courage to take them.
Careers which allow the Rat to express their creativity are beneficial, and working independently enables their expression and imagination to flourish. Rats who are forced to be part of a team may struggle, unless of course they are leading the way! The Rat is also believed to be a symbol of wealth and prosperity and for that reason 2020 may be a good year for financial gains.