What to expect in the Year of the Rat!

In many Western countries rats and mice are simultaneously considered to carry disease and also to be cute. Similarly, in China, whilst the animal itself is still unwelcome, as the first of the twelve zodiac signs rats are actually very auspicious. So what lies ahead this new year? Read on to find out what kind of energy the Rat will be bringing you!

In China, the new year is calculated according to the lunar calendar (农历; Nónglì). Although the Gregorian calendar is standard, the lunar calendar dictates the dates of traditional Chinese holidays and helps people choose auspicious days for important life changes such as weddings, funerals, moving house or starting a business.

Chinese New Year should be the new moon closest to the beginning of spring (in the northern hemisphere), known as Lìchūn. Most of the time Chinese New Year will fall 11 (sometimes 10 or 12) days earlier than the previous year. If that means that the event would be outside of the Chinese New Year range of January 21 to February 21 (in the Gregorian calendar), a leap month must be added so Chinese New Year jumps 19 (sometimes 18) days later. A leap month will be added this year, 2020.

Shǔ can mean rat or mouse

The current Chinese year (4718)  is the Year of the Rat, starting on January 25th 2020 and lasting until February 11th 2021.

The rat is the first animal in the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac. The Years of the Rat include 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020, and 2032.

According to traditional astrology, lucky signs for people born in the Year of the Rat include:

Lucky Numbers: 2, 3
Lucky Colors: Gold, blue, green
Lucky Flowers: Lily, African violet, lily of the valley
Lucky Directions: Southeast, northeast

Those born in the Year of the Rat are considered to be good with money, excellent business people, sophisticated and popular. On the downside, rats can be poor at communicating, stubborn and picky.

Traditionally, the year of the sign you were born under is unlucky, so if you were born in a Rat year, be extra careful. Remember to wear red every day to attract good luck! Chinese often wear bracelets made of red cord, left on for the whole year, or you could choose red underwear or socks. However, 2020 isn’t too bad for Rats, and while you should pay attention to your health, you will have great success in your career!

Rats are a symbol of wealth, surplus and fertility. As the first animal of a 12-year cycle, they also symbolise renewal, so 2020 will be a year of new beginnings and success for all types of endeavours (relationships, politics, business deals etc) and a prosperous, healthy, lucky year for almost all zodiac signs. 

Of course, it might all just be myth and superstition.  The most important thing to keep in mind is balance, no matter what the year or which animal sign you are. As long as you are paying attention to your health, balancing fun and work, and striving each day to be a better person both to yourself and others, you’re likely to fare well no matter what the multiverse throws at you!

Remember!  No matter what any astrological system says, your destiny will always be first and foremost shaped by your intentions!

Will you still be paying attention to your horoscopes this year? Do you think the Year of the Rat will make life more difficult for you, or do you think it’s all nonsense? What are you looking forward to in the Year of the Rat? Let us know in the comments on Facebook or Twitter. For more information about anything listed here, please contact us or use the form below to let us know your specific requirements. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Interested in learning more about and experiencing the traditional culture of China?

Cultural Keys Chinese Culture Centre, a registered company in Hong Kong, Beijing and the UK, was founded in 2013 by three expats who were inspired by the difficulty of accessing authentic traditional culture in Beijing.
Since then, Cultural Keys has helped hundreds of people do exactly that.


Founded by British expats Nicola Doering and AJ Donnelly, Cultural Keys is run on the love and passion we have for traditional Chinese culture.

We believe 100% in making the beauty, wisdom and traditions of Chinese culture available to everyone.


And because we are a foreign-owned and foreign run company, we can see Chinese culture through unique eyes, and are able to work with our expert teachers to tailor all our classes, products and services in a way that makes our content most accessible to our clients.

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Cultural Keys Chinese Culture Centre

191 (North Door A), Xiaopu North Road
Xiaopu Village, Songzhuang
Tongzhou, Beijing

北京市, 通州区, 宋庄镇,
小堡村, 小堡北街191号 (北门-A)

+86 18611558781
010 89595202

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