The Chinese zodiac goes by years. Each year has a different sign, and the cycle starts over every twelve years. The cycle begins with the sign of the Chinese zodiac sign Rat. Starting at the beginning of the 20th century, Rat zodiac years are 1900, 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, and 2020. The five Chinese elements (not to be confused with the Western four elements) come into play on a per-sign basis as well as one per Rat year, forming a five-time cycle.
The Rat’s fixed element is water. Compass directions also hold an essential place in the Chinese belief system, and there are specific directions associated with each sign. The auspicious directions for the Rat sign are Northwest, West, and Southwest. There are even lucky numbers (2 & 3), flowers (African Violet, Lily), and colors (red and white).
Rat Personality Traits: General
Chinese Rats are incredibly perceptive, especially when it comes to business dealings, romance, and other associations. Their ingenuity and curiosity lead them to opportunities, and their understanding keeps them out of trouble. They are quick to pick up on most things just by observing, and they never let this ability go to waste. All of these factors play a role in how they see the world.
It is easy for the Rat Chinese sign to be open and honest with their opinions about others, and to be quite blunt. People born under this sign are outgoing, and in some circumstances, overbearing. This comes in part from Rats’ need to do things their way, and their need to protect themselves at all times.
Rat Zodiac: Positive Traits
Rat Chinese horoscope sign are trendy people who have many friends, at least on the surface. Once a Rat trusts you enough to let you into his or her inner circle, the Rat will treat you well. That still doesn’t mean they will ever reveal too much personal information to you or anyone for that matter. Rats are just that private and self-protective. In a more intimate setting, it is possible to get even closer to the Rat sign, but he or she must trust that partner more than anyone else in the world. Once that happens, it can be a beautiful thing.
Rat Zodiac: Negative Traits
On the darker side, Chinese Rat astrology sign are not shy about using others’ weaknesses against them, and they are prone to gossip. Truthfully, they have more casual acquaintances than real friends because the distance makes things easier for them to operate. This sign is cunning and smart, but it is also very particular about its opinions. The Rat sign is known as a very closed-minded sign. They can be misers with their wealth, always worrying about having enough.
Types of Rat Based on Chinese Five Elements
Metal Rat (1900, 1960):
The Metal Rat has two faces; the one it shows the world, and the one it keeps to itself. On the outside, this person is easy-going. On the inside, this person struggles with powerful emotions. While they can be easy to get along with, their real focus is on their ambitions. Friction occurs when they are met with resistance. When it comes to money, they spend it only on giving a good impression.
Advice: Don’t let your emotions overrun your life and interactions with others. Learn how to compromise. These things will lead you to a more contented life.
Water Rat (1912, 1972):
The Water Rat sign has excellent intuition, communication skills, and persuasion skills. The result is that the Water Rat can captivate and analyze nearly anyone they wish. This ability allows the Rat to use people without them realizing what is happening. Most of the time, however, this type of Rat is not malevolent by nature; they just know what they want and how to get it.
Advice: Learn to control your tongue. Sometimes you may slip and hurt people without intending to. Keep your manipulation skills beneficial for everyone or stop doing it altogether.
Wood Rat (1924, 1984):
The good news is that the Chinese Wood Rat is well-liked, articulate, and successful. The bad news is that underneath that, these rats are paralyzed by self-doubt. Because of this, the Wood Rat uses manipulation skills to evade unpleasant circumstances that challenge their façade.
Advice: There is a reason why you have a confident exterior and are a success in business. That is because you are competent! Stop worrying so much about what others think and what will happen. Just enjoy the ride.
Fire Rat (1936, 1996):
The best words to describe the Fire Rat are charming, impulsive, and independent. In fact, they are so individualistic that they cannot stand still or feel restricted for very long. Because they run such a short fuse, it is easy for them to get themselves in trouble when their tempers flare. On a more positive note, these Rats are often gifted with a sharpened artistic sense, and that fiery passion can unleash awesome creations.
Advice: Stop and think before acting or speaking. This will spare you and others much heartache. Stop, take a breath, and stay in one place once in a while to feel more centered.
Earth Rat (1948, 2008):
The Earth Rat sign is the most grounded, or “down to earth,” of all the Rats. They are not nearly as flighty or impetuous as the others, as they do not like to take risks. Taking the safe path is most appealing. This Rat has some friends, and they do not gossip like other Rats. But the Earth Rat continually worries about what others think of him or her. On top of that, they tend to be perfectionists and very hard on themselves (and sometimes others).
Advice: Don’t compare yourself, your accomplishments, and your status with others. To enjoy life more, focus on just your own goals and learn to be more forgiving.
Chinese Zodiac: Rat in Love
Rats in love pride themselves on their wit, charm, and ability to size people up. They have an innate charisma that draws all kinds of people to them. There is just one problem. It is easy for a Rat to be inconstant in their love. The Rat man or Rat woman will shower you with the flattery you want to hear, and they will draw you in before you realize what has happened. In other words, it’s easy to fall for a Rat. If you prove yourself worthy of a Rat, he or she can become quite loyal.
At the same time, it is next to impossible for a Chinese Rat to say, “I love you” because that requires revealing more about their inner feelings that they can share. Instead, they show it through their actions. Don’t be surprised if they fight for you and your causes. It isn’t because they feel you are incapable, but because this is how they show their true feelings.
Chinese Zodiac: Rat Man Personality
Life with a Rat man in love is complicated. While you are with him, you have all of his attention, or so it seems. In fact, sometimes partners will feel overwhelmed or overprotected. That is just part of their personality. Rat men are gifted at chatting you up, but underneath that charm, they calculate how to get what they want at all times. It may include your best interests, and it may not.
Most young Rat males sharpen their relationship skills until they meet “the one” which means they go through several relationships. Until that time comes, it is best to guard your heart as he does his. Once he does find his perfect match, he will be very loyal and loving, inside and out.
Chinese Zodiac: Rat Woman Personality
Rat women are every bit as assertive, charming, and charismatic as their male counterparts. This means that they find it easy to attract a love interest, but find it a challenge to be faithful. The Rat lady has a fierce desire to remain independent, and it is easy to make her feel claustrophobic. She is looking for a reliable partner who will help share the load in all areas of life. Like a Rat man, once the Rat female finds the right mate, she will be very loyal and give the relationship her all. But until then, she will guard her heart and keep her eyes open.
Chinese Zodiac: Rat Love Compatibility
According to Chinese zodiac compatibility, Rats are best with a Dragon, Ox, or Monkey. The Dragon sign is an excellent match for the Rat because the Dragon is not intimidated or manipulated by the Rat, yet the Dragon appreciates the Rat’s cleverness. Both zodiac signs love dominance and financial security, but Rats are cautious because of their sixth sense, while the Dragon rushes in. If they combine their efforts, they make a great power couple.
Oxen are the second best match. The Ox sign gives the Rat comfort and stability. Oxen are leading providers as are Rats, and Rats desire equality in sharing the load. Rats can help the Ox with expressing themselves, and Oxen can help Rats calm down.
The Chinese Monkey sign is also a good match for the Rat, in part because he or she counterbalances the Rat’s thinking abilities, and they learn to appreciate each other’s mental strengths early on. The Rat can teach the Monkey how to focus for more extended periods. And the Monkey can teach the Rat how to have a more optimistic outlook on life.
The worst match for Rat is the Chinese Horse. Think of it regarding placing two powder kegs next to each other. The Rat loves verbal jousts as a mental exercise, so he or she says something to spark an argument. That spark sets off both powder kegs. Horses can have titanic-sized eruptions of temper. It doesn’t take much for Horses to move on to greener pastures.
Dating a Rat Man/Woman
If you wish to date a Rat, you must be able to keep up with his or her energy level. Rats hate to be bored, so variety and change are right up their alley. Intimacy can and will occur almost anywhere. Just use your imagination, and it will likely happen! If this is a little too adventuresome for you, then perhaps the Rat is not the right sign for you.
As you may have guessed, both male and female Rats have high sex drives. What may surprise you is that neither view sex as a purely physical act. This, in part, is due to their mighty intellects. They must be mentally stimulated, or sex for a Chinese Rat is not satisfying. It should not surprise you. Therefore, that imagination is the best aphrodisiac for Rats. Catch them off guard once in a while, even though this is a challenge, and they will love you even more!
Chinese Zodiac: Rat Child
Rat children are sharp-witted and have a love for words early on. Parents need to cultivate that love of words by reading to them and giving them books to learn on their own. The thing they find most important, and the thing that causes them the most trouble is their sense of fairness. That sense of justice will go so far as throwing a fit if a friend or sibling gets a more significant share of something.
It can be emotionally crippling to Rat kids if they sense someone else receives more applause for something they did or more soothing words for even a minor reason. Parents need to help young Rats break this obsession early on, or it can scar them in life.
Rat Zodiac: Health
Chinese Rats are active and go-getters by nature. You enjoy being physical and engaging in exercise without being coerced. Your issue comes with getting enough rest. Make sure you get enough sleep and short breaks from work if things are too stressful. Another thing you should do is pay attention to your respiratory health, as you are prone to trouble in that area.
Rat Zodiac: Career
The Chinese zodiac Rats are demanding perfectionists when it comes to their work, and they feel most happy when they have earned a high-level position. Income, status, and prestige are vital to the Rat. If pride does not get in the way, there are many things the Rat is quite good at. Their drive and organization skills make them excellent administrators.
But their observation skills and original vision can also make the Rats suitable entrepreneurs, musicians, and writers. Their people and investigating abilities make them excellent lawyers and researchers. It is up to the individual Rat, what he or she enjoys doing, and what priorities the Rat holds dearest.
Rat Zodiac: Travel Tips
People born under the Rat Chinese zodiac sign are the most likely to accumulate a great deal of money, which means they can afford the best. Often restless, Rats like going to new destinations. Even if they go to a common goal, Rats will want to look for places they have not seen before.
Anything to create a new experience. Rats crave action and excitement. Look for a locale that offers a variety of options, so there is no excuse for boredom. For city lights, look to New York or Tokyo, for example. These cities are running day and night! Lastly, going on a prepackaged group tour is not recommended; you will just leave them behind at some point anyway!
Rat Zodiac: Fashion
Those born in the Year of the Rat often dress in classic styles. This is due in part to your need to impress others, and in part because of your career choices. Most of the time, you stick to the tried-and-true power black, gray and black, but you are not afraid to turn on the glamour! Your strength and position allow you to attend plenty of galas, high society parties, and even red carpet events.
You know how to pull off a sexy but not uncouth red dress, or you may wow the crowds with a stylish tux. The choice is yours! Fortunately, there is a casual side to the Rat as well. When far away from the lights and cameras, you let your hair down and don a favorite pair of jeans – designer jeans, of course, but jeans nonetheless – and a classic sweater set.
Famous Rat Personalities
- Samuel L. Jackson
- Prince Charles
- Gwyneth Paltrow
- George Washington
- Hugh Grant
- William Shakespeare
- David Duchovny
- Scarlett Johansson
- Luke Grimes
- Katy Perry
- Dwayne “Rock” Johnson
- Maya Rudolph
- Jude Law
- Julianne Moore
- Kathy Griffin
- Damon Wayans
- Julia Child
- Ozzy Osborne
- Lewis Black
- Robert Redford