Years of the Rat in Chinese zodiac are 2032, 2020, 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948, 1936...The Rat is the first zodiac sign in the Chinese zodiac cycle. A Rat year occurs every 12 years.
According to the Chinese zodiac story, in the competition held by the Jade Emperor to decide the zodiac animals, the quick-witted rat asked the diligent ox to take him on a ride to cross the river and jumped down before the ox crossed the finish line. Thus the rat won the race and became the first of the zodiac animals, followed by ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
- Chinese: 鼠年 (shǔ nián ‘Rat year')
- Earthly Branch: 子 (zǐ 1st of 12)
- Representing hours: midnight hours (11pm–1am)
- Yin/yang: yang
- Was I Born in the Year of the Rat?
- Rat's Personality and Characteristics
- Rat's Love Compatibility
- Lucky Things for the Rat
- Rat's Horoscope in 2023
How did the Rat become the first sign in Chinese zodiac? The video below will tell you the story.
Was I Born in a Year of the Rat?
Recent years of the Rat include 2032, 2020, 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948 and 1936. A new Chinese zodiac year starts in January or February according to the lunar calendar. Therefore, if you were born in January or February in one of the above years, you might be a Rat, or possibly a Pig.
You can use our free Chinese zodiac sign calculator to be sure or see the table below.
In Chinese element theory, each zodiac sign is associated with one of the five elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Gold (Metal), and Water. Each Rat-element year corresponds with an element and comes once in a 60-year cycle. For example, 2020 was a year of the Metal Rat. The next Metal Rat year is 2080.
Chinese Zodiac Sign Calculator
Year of the Rat Dates
|2032||Feb. 11, 2032 – Jan. 30, 2033||Water|
|2020||Jan. 25, 2020 – Feb. 11, 2021||Metal (Gold)|
|2008||Feb. 7, 2008 – Jan. 25, 2009||Earth|
|1996||Feb. 19, 1996 – Feb. 6, 1997||Fire|
|1984||Feb. 2, 1984 – Feb. 19, 1985||Wood|
|1972||Feb. 15, 1972 – Feb. 2, 1973||Water|
|1960||Jan. 28, 1960 – Feb. 14, 1961||Metal (Gold)|
|1948||Feb. 10, 1948 – Jan. 28, 1949||Earth|
|1936||Jan. 24, 1936 – Feb. 10, 1937||Fire|
|1924||Feb. 5, 1924 – Jan. 23, 1925||Wood|
The Rat's Personality and Characteristics
Rats are quick-witted, resourceful, and smart but lack courage. With rich imaginations and sharp observations, they can take advantage of various opportunities well.
In Chinese culture, rats represent working diligently and thriftiness, so people born in a Rat year are thought to be wealthy and prosperous.
Men born in a Rat year are very curious so they tend to try their hands at anything and they can deal with tasks skillfully.
Due to a lack of courage, as well as good command skills, they are not capable of being leaders. Opportunistic and picky as male Rats are, they do not have broad minds but take a narrow view of things.
Women born in a Rat year are pretty, smart, and lovely. They have quick minds and dexterous hands, and are able to learn anything. They are always considerate of their families and friends.
It is theorized that a person's characteristics are decided by their birth year's zodiac animal sign and element. So there are five types of Rat, each with different characteristics:
|Wood Rat||Independent, self-confident, virtuous and talented, with a strong sense of teamwork|
|Fire Rat||Energetic, brave, quiet, cordial and friendly to their friends, but very strict with themselves|
|Earth Rat||Amiable, honest, flexible, modest, serious, with a strong sense of self-esteem|
|Gold Rat||Smart, talented, hot-tempered, jealous, with a strong sense of self-awareness|
|Water Rat||Talkative, shrewd, conservative, and wise|
Rat's Love Compatibility
Chinese astrology states that certain zodiac animal combinations get along better than others, and that some animal signs are natural enemies.
Chinese horoscope animals' compatibility takes the characteristics of each animal into account. Those whose characteristics match well can have good compatibility.
Most compatible zodiac signs with a Rat: Rat, Ox, Dragon, or Monkey
- The Rat and Ox have complementary characters and will help each other in their work and home lives.
- The Rat and Dragon will have a good relationship and support each other.
- Couples including a Rat and a Monkey will get along well and be happy.
Least compatible zodiac signs with a Rat: Rabbit, Horse, or Rooster
- A Rat clashes easily with a Rabbit, a Horse or a Rooster. They lack tolerance toward each other and it's hard to sustain a lasting peace.
Want to know if she/he is compatible with you? Use our zodiac love compatibility calculator below. Or you can check the 12 Chinese zodiac signs' love compatibility in detail.
Chinese Zodiac Compatibility Calculator
Lucky Things for People Born in a Year of the Rat
Lucky things for Rats:
- Lucky numbers: 2, 3, and numbers containing them (like 23 and 32)
- Lucky days: the 4th and 13th of every Chinese lunar month
- Lucky colors: blue, gold, green
- Lucky flowers: lily, African violet
- Lucky direction: west, northwest and southwest
- Lucky months: the 2nd, 5th and 9th Chinese lunar months
Unlucky things for Rats:
- Unlucky color: yellow, brown
- Unlucky numbers: 5 and 9
- Unlucky direction: south and southeast
- Unlucky months: the 4th, 10th, and 12th Chinese lunar months
What Are Rats' Horoscope Predictions in 2023?
2023 is a year of the Rabbit. Rats, among the 12 zodiac signs, your sign, the Rat, is 1st and the Rabbit is 4th, and the 1st and 4th branches tend to overcome each other. Therefore, Rat people, you will encounter many difficult troubles in 2023, and your overall horoscope will be one of ups and downs.
Rat people, you need to be cautious and not impulsive in your actions during this year.
Read more on Monthly Horoscope for Rats in 2023.
Best-Suited Careers for Rats
With good insight and a sharp perspective, Rats have good judgment in what they do, which enables them to prevent unnecessary problems. Rats are cautious and meticulous, so they tend to show a serious attitude toward their work.
The best careers for Rats are:
Administrator, director, manager, entrepreneur, broadcaster, writer, musician, stand-up comedian, politician, lawyer, researcher, and racing car driver.
Good Health for Rats
General speaking, Rats are healthy. They are full of energy and active, which helps them keep fit and avoid illness.
A balanced diet and regular exercise benefit Rats. With enough rest Rats can keep high spirits at work, which can improve work efficiency. When in stressful and tense conditions, Rats are suggested to take a tour to free stress and tension.
Are Rat Years Unlucky Years for Rats?
According to Chinese astrology, the year of their birth sign (本命年běnmìngnián /bnn-ming-nyen/ 'origin (of) life year') will bring people nothing but bad luck. It is believed that people will offend Tai Sui, the God of Age, in their benmingnian.
Therefore, Rats should pay special attention to avoid misfortune in their lives in the year of their birth sign. The next Rat year is 2032. It starts from the Chinese New Year (February 11). Read more about How to Be Lucky in Your Ben Ming Nian.
How to Build Relationships with Rats
With an active nature, Rats enjoy a flexible social circle. They are interested in attending different kinds of social occasions. They like to make new friends, but they seldom further their relationships with others. Rats have a charming appearance, which can attract more friends.
In love relationships, Rats find it easy to start a new relationship with someone, but they also break off relationships easily, which results in trouble with infidelity.