Rat Chinese Zodiac Sign: Year, Personality & Meaning | Astrology Daily

Chinese Zodiac Sign

The Chinese believe the animal ruling one’s birth year has a profound influence on personality, and destiny.

  • 1924
  • 1936
  • 1948
  • 1960
  • 1972
  • 1984
  • 1996
  • 2008
  • 2020
  • 2032

The first Chinese zodiac animal is the Rat. Connected to the Earthly Branch Zi and the midnight hours, and being a representation of the start of a new day, the Rat not only signifies wealth and abundance, it is also the deity in demand when a couple is trying to have children, as rats give birth at high rates. There’s a mythological story for why the Rat comes first ahead of the Ox. A party was hosted by the Jade Emperor, and the order that the animals arrived at the party would be their order in the zodiac. The Rat was sneaky and asked if it could hitch a ride on the Ox. As they were about to get to the line to determine the winner, the Rat snuck ahead for first place. 2020 is the year of the Rat, as was 2008, and the next is 2032.


Personality and characteristics

Rats are often quick witted and intelligent, and despite their impressive achievements, they opt for a life that is modest and humble rather than splashy and extravagant. This is why they are financially prudent, despite having a tendency to overspend on items that they like to accumulate. Their character as well as their positivity and enthusiasm for life make them well liked, and their stubbornness and poor ability to communicate is made up for by their genuinely sweet and empathetic nature.



Rats get along great with Oxen both personally and professionally. They also have great relationships with Dragons, and they have a rare understanding with each other, which leads to their mutual success together. Rats and Monkeys are great matches as well, and they can be expected to form great bonds that last a lifetime. However, Rats compatibility is poor with Horses, who are never satisfied with Rats and are always expecting more. Rats don’t do well with Sheep either, as the Sheep are always after the Rats money. Rabbits are another zodiac that clashes with Rats, as they are always going contrary to what Rats want, sometimes on purpose and sometimes just naturally, and Rats don’t speak up.



Rats don’t often have major health problems, but they are prone to falling sick, and they lack stamina, burning out their energy easily. Weather extremes affect them greatly, as do changes in the weather. They are stronger than they look, though, and they can endure a lot over time. They are not fussy about what they eat, but this can work against them as they often focus so much on other things that eating slips their mind altogether, which is not a healthy habit, especially when they indulge in food after going a long time without it. They should take note to focus especially on a good breakfast. Another bad habit is their enjoyment of alcohol and cigarettes, which are best avoided, and Rats should be encouraged to exercise more than they do.



Rats have many skills that make them well suited for creative fields, though their skills are best in solitude rather than in collaboration. Writing, editing, painting, and other arts are a good fit for them, as are more technical jobs that require an exactness, such as the fields of architecture or engineering. What rats are not good for are jobs that require a fearlessness to forge their own paths, such as being entrepreneurs or politicians, nor do they have the bravery required of firefighters, police, or other physically dangerous jobs.


Lucky things
  • Colors: blue, gold, green
  • Numbers: 2, 3
  • Directions of auspiciousness: southeast, northeast
  • Directions: southeast, east
  • Directions of love: west
Unlucky things
  • Colors: yellow, brown
  • Numbers: 5, 9


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