Gong Hei Fat Choi!
Today marks the start of the Year of the Rat. And if you haven’t already guessed, I am a Rat, so today is the official start of my year.
Here’s a short lesson on the Chinese zodiac. There are 12 animals in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac, and the rat is the first in this series. Legend has it that once upon a time, the God of Heaven wanted to choose 12 animal names as the sequence of the calendar. He announced his intention to hold an animal racing to determine the order. When the racing date was closing, Cat forgot the time and asked Rat for the schedule. Alert Rat gave Cat the wrong time on purpose. During the race, Smart Rat stayed on the horn of Ox while crossing the river, then jumped over the bank to reach the final line to be crowned the champion. Cat missed the racing time and swore to kill Rat for generations, which is why Cat will chase Rat forever.
Below are some interesting points gleaned from various sites:
A Rat Year is a time of hard work, activity, and renewal. This is a good year to begin a new job, get married, launch a product or make a fresh start. Ventures begun now may not yield fast returns, but opportunities will come for people who are well prepared and resourceful. The best way for one to succeed is to be patient, let things develop slowly, and make the most of every opening one can find. People born an Earth Rat are said to be logical realists, shrewd, charming, ambitious, and inventive.
In Chinese, the Rat is respected and considered a courageous, enterprising person. People born in the Year of Rat are clever and bright, sociable and family-minded. They have broad interests and strong ability in adapting to the environment and able to react adequately to any changes.
They are gifted in many ways and have an easygoing manner. They are active and pleasant, tactful and fantastic, and are able to grasp opportunities. They seem to have interests in everything and hope to participate in doing it and usually do it very well.
People born in the Year of the Rat are noted for their charm and attraction for the opposite sex. They work hard to achieve their goals, acquire possessions, and are likely to be perfectionists. They are basically thrifty with money. Rat people are easily angered and love to gossip. Their ambitions are big, and they are usually very successful.
I was looking around on the internet to find out more about the personality traits of those born in the Year of the Rat, and I found the below description typical of a child born in the Year of the Rat. And the writer may as well have used me as the subject – I identify with everything!!!
A child born in the year of the Rat will be sweet and loving. He may be shy, but inwardly he is fiercely competitive. Often, he resorts to crying to get more attention and usually clings to one or two people with whom he identifies. Although he has a charming disposition, he is possessive of parents and friends and jealous of attention given to others.
He will talk early. He likes to eat (mention of his favourite foods always makes him light up) and he takes an early interest in cooking and other household chores. Being affectionate and demonstrative, he will not like being left alone. He will enjoy group play, can concentrate on detailed work and make friends easily. You can depend on him to keep things tidy or at least know where they are.
The Rat child will start to show his calculating nature very early in life. He will insist that he get the bigger half of the apple, exactly the same number of cookies as his older brother (preferably more, but under no circumstances less). It will be hard to cheat him on anything. He learns fast and never misses a trick. He takes regular stock of his possessions–so don’t try to give away any of his old toys thinking he won’t miss it. Then again, if you consult him, be prepared for a struggle as the selfish little Rat won’t part with anything easily.
With younger children, the Rat child will tend to be motherly; at his worst, he will boss them around mercilessly. Given the proper encouragement, he will be ambitious in school. He will be most eager to participate in anything that stimulates his sharp mental powers.
The vivacious Rat will be an avid reader. He will learn the importance of the written word early and be able to express himself well. Many of the world’s greatest writers and historians were born in the year of the Rat.
I had already pegged this year as being Two-Thousand-and-Great – I can’t wait to see what the Year of the Rat has in mind for me as well!