Chinese Year of the Rat

Famous for being savvy, charming, and resourceful, Rat year natives possess a unique set of traits that make them stand out from the crowd. Let's unlock the mysteries of this fascinating Chinese zodiac sign.

By Tassie Zingaro

Published: Jun 20, 2024

Born in Year of the Rat

According to the zodiac circle of the Chinese tradition, which consists, as you probably know, of 12 animal signs, the Rat comes first. It represents a new beginning and a fresh start. In Chinese culture, this animal is also associated with wealth and abundance, as well as intelligence and resourcefulness. So what can we expect from those born in the Year of the Rat?

Whether you were born in this auspicious year or are simply curious about the Year of the Rat meaning and its peculiarities, join us on a journey of discovery and enlightenment as we unlock the secrets of the Chinese Rat sign.

Year of the Rat Dates

The Chinese calendar follows a 12-year cycle. Each year is represented by a certain creature of the animal world. The Rat comes first, followed by the Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

To determine if a person was born in the Chinese year of the Rat, you only need to take three simple steps:

  1. Subtract 3 from the year of the person's birth.
  2. Divide the result by 12.
  3. Look at the remainder: it will be the number of the person's Chinese zodiac sign in the cycle.

E.g. the most recent year of the Rat was 2020. Let's check if the method works:

  1. 2020 - 3 = 2017
  2. 2017 / 12 = 168 + 1
  3. Since the year of the Rat years always start a new cycle, their number is 1.

As you can see, the method works. Ta-da!

Please note, though, that the Chinese New Year date can vary slightly each year because it is based on the lunar calendar. It's important to double-check the exact date of Chinese New Year for the year in question to ensure correct results, especially if the person whose sign you want to discover was born in January or February.

The Rat's Personality and Characteristics

Among the most common Year of the Rat personality features, one can name supreme wit, resourcefulness, and adaptability. Rats are quick thinkers and tend to excel in problem-solving situations. Known for their charm and wit, they make excellent communicators and ambitious leaders with a keen sense of opportunity, often seizing it to their advantage. Despite their small size, the actual rats are famously courageous and determined. The same is true about Rat sign natives. They are diligent workers and do not fear taking risks to realize their objectives. Generally sociable, they are exceptionally loyal to their loved ones. Overall, individuals born in the Year of the Rat are often smart, determined, and charismatic.

Rat Love Compatibility, Best Matches, Marriage

Anyone born in the Year of the Rat is believed to be most compatible with natives of the Ox and Dragon signs, while the Horse and the Goat/Sheep make a far worse match. However, the compatibility varies depending on the sign native's gender. Read on to find out how exactly.

Rat and Bull are two compatible Chinese zodiac signs
Image source:

Male Rats in Love

A Male Rat has the biggest chance of building a stable and harmonious relationship with females born in the Year of the Ox or forming an exciting and dynamic couple with women born in the Years of the Dragon and the Monkey.

Best Matches

Male Rat + Female Monkey have good chemistry and understanding. Both are intelligent, playful, and outgoing, which can create an energizing and enjoyable relationship. 

Male Rat + Female Dragon are often considered a powerful match. They are both ambitious, confident, and charismatic, which can create a strong bond. They may share common interests and goals and encourage each other.

Male Rat + Female Ox are likely to be a match due to their shared values of hard work, stability, and family orientation. They can form a solid partnership based on trust and reciprocal respect. 

Bad Matches

Male Rate + Female Horse may have differences in personality and priorities. Rat is more cautious and practical, while Horse is more impulsive and adventurous. They may have contrasting communication styles and approaches to life, which can lead to contradictions and misunderstandings.

Male Rat + Female Goat/Sheep may have diametrically opposite traits and communication styles. Rat's directness and assertiveness may clash with Goat/Sheep's more passive and sensitive nature, leading to potential conflicts and misunderstandings.

Female Rats in Love

Just as their fellow male sign natives, Female Rats can build promising relationships with male Dragons, Monkeys, or Oxen. On the other hand, female Rats may find it more challenging to form strong relationships with males born in the year of the Horse, Rabbit, or Rooster since they have very different characters and priorities.

Best Matches

Female Rate + Male Ox famously have a strong work ethic and can persevere through complex challenges, which makes them an unstoppable team. They also share a love of home and family, which can help them create a warm and loving environment that is both comfortable and nurturing.

Female Rat + Male Monkey both have a natural curiosity and love of exploration. They can inspire and challenge each other to grow and evolve. Moreover, their mutual cleverness and creativity can make them a formidable intellectual team of problem-solvers and ideators.

Female Rat + Male Dragon can share a sense of adventure and creativity. Their quick minds, love of new experiences, and ability to think outside the box can help them inspire and back each other in taking risks and pursuing their dreams. 

Bad Matches

Female Rat + Male Rooster have conflicting characteristics. The female Rat may find the male Rooster too dominant and argumentative. On the other hand, to the male Rooster's liking, she can be too passive and lack ambition, which can cause frustration and dissatisfaction.

Female Rate + Male Rabbit can feel disconnected from each other due to the differences in their social styles. The Rat is outgoing, while the Rabbit is more introverted. Moreover, the former is ambitious and driven, but the latter may focus more on pursuing his artistic and creative interests. All of this prevents the two from seeing eye to eye.

Female Rat + Male Horse have clashing personalities and priorities. The male Horse's impulsiveness and adventurousness don't align with the female Rat's meticulousness and love of planning. 

Love Compatibility in Marriage

People born in the Year of the Rat are believed to have a happy and balanced marriage with someone who shares similar values and interests—especially those endowed upon them by their Chinese zodiac sign. It's worth noting that even if a Rat sign native marries their Chinese zodiac match, there can still be challenges and conflicts. Communication, compromise, and mutual respect are vital for a satisfying and long-lasting relationship, regardless of the zodiac aspects involved.

Lucky Signs for People Born in Rat Year

Emeral is Rat's lucky gemstone, lily is Rat's lucky flower.
  • Lucky Colors: green, blue, gold. Wearing or adding these colors to their surroundings may bring good fortune and good vibes.
  • Lucky Numbers: 2 and 3, especially when seen on lottery tickets, in phone numbers and addresses, but random sightings in the street also count. Rats might even want to try and get a phone number with twos and threes.
  • Lucky Directions: North and South. Facing or traveling in these directions guarantees a positive outcome.
  • Lucky Flowers: African Violet and Lily. Being gifted or even buying these flowers can charge Rats with joy.
  • Lucky Gemstones: Garnet and Emerald. These gemstones will bring luck and work as talismans—if kept in a pocket or worn as jewelry. 

Famous People: Rat Zodiac Eminent Personalities

While we're used to analyzing the personalities of our friends and family using horoscopes, wouldn't it be fun to scope out a bigger picture and find some Rats among famous people of the past and present?

Born in 1564, William Shakespeare is a renowned playwright and poet known for his works such as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Macbeth—and, of course, a Rat. Another native of the sign was George Washington (1732), the first President of the United States and a key figure in American history. Born 24 years after Washington, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart became a prolific and influential composer known for his classical music compositions.

Among our contemporaries, there are also some notable Rat sign natives, e.g., Charles III, the King of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms. Cameron Diaz, a famous American actress, was born in 1972, the year of the Water Rat. She is known for her roles in films such as There's Something About Mary, Charlie's Angels, and Shrek. Also born in 1972, Eminem is a Grammy-winning rapper and songwriter known for his successful music career. A younger Rat, Katy Perry (1984), is a famous American singer, songwriter, and actress known for her pop music hits and elaborate stage performances. Her age-mate Scarlett Johansson is a renowned American actress known for her roles in films such as Lost in Translation, The Avengers, and Marriage Story.

These are just a few examples of famous individuals born in the Chinese Year of the Rat. However, it's important to note that while their birth year may be associated with the Rat zodiac sign, it's their individual talents, achievements, and contributions that have made them famous.

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