Unlike the Western (Gregorian) Calendar where New Years begins at midnight on January 1st, the Chinese calendar starts its zodiac year on the first day of the lunar year. Every year the Chinese New Year is celebrated on a different date and it is assigned a Chinese Zodiac animal and element. This dates back more than 5000 year of history.
Similar to the Western Calendar where there calendar is divided into 12 parts each assigned celestial signed on corresponding month but the Chinese cycle is divided into years instead of months. There are 12 zodiac animals in the Chinese cycle which represent the 12 earthly branches in the order of Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit (cat), Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat (Sheep), Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.
There are various versions of how the zodiac animal got there place in the cycle. Most stories agree on one thing the animals that make up the signs and appear due to an invitation. In this legend the 12 animals fought over the precedence of the animals in the cycle of years in the calendar, so the Chinese gods held a contest to determine the order. All the animals lined up on the bank of a river and were given the task of getting to the opposite shore. Their order in the calendar would be set by the order in which the animals managed to reach the other side. The cat wondered how he would get across if he was afraid of water. At the same time, the ox wondered how he would cross with his poor eyesight. The calculating rat suggested that he and the cat jump onto the ox’s back and guide him across. The ox was steady and hard-working so that he did not notice a commotion on his back. In the meanwhile, the rat sneaked up behind the unsuspecting cat and shoved him into the water. Just as the ox came ashore, the rat jumped off and finished the race first. The lazy pig came to the far shore in twelfth place. And so the rat got the first year named after him, the ox got the second year, and the pig ended up as the last year in the cycle. The cat finished too late to win any place in the calendar, and vowed to be the enemy of the rat forevermore.
The Chinese astrological signs assigned by year represent what others perceive you as being or how you present yourself. The Chinese philosophy is built around the belief in the five elements and their abilities to interact with and create relationships between natural phenomena. They are the balance of yin and yang and are linked to a particular direction and season, and a person’s life force.
Which brings me to 2013 Year of the Water Snake. To this point until the actual Chinese New Year begins I will post information on each zodiac animal let’s begin with the first animal the RAT.
Year of the Rat + Element
Metal Rats_1900 & 1960
Metal Rats are determined people who get what they want, regardless of the cost. Intensively emotional, their behavior can border on the extreme. Possessive feelings, envy, and rage can cause problems. Relationships can be problematic as Metal Rats are obstinate.
Water Rats_1912 & 1972
Water Rats are extremely influential people who are smart and insightful which makes them excellent at problem-solving. Practical and understanding, they interact well with and are liked by others.
Wood Rats_1924 & 1984
Wood Rats are not self-confident as they appear on the surface, they will never expose this vulnerability to others. They are successful despite their perpetual fear of flailing. Wood rats enjoy being with friends and family and fortunately for them, feelings of love and respect are mutual.
Fire Rats_1936 &1996
Fire Rats are spontaneous they like to travel and take on new tasks and will take on any new project or adventure to avoid any sense of routine and monotony. They are zestful, spirited, and giving individuals who are well-liked by others.
Earth Rats_1948 & 2008
Earth Rats are stable, grounded, and believe that slow and steady wins the race.
Good Career choices
Rats make great administrator, director, manager, entrepreneur, broadcaster, writer, musicians, stand-up comedian, politician, lawyer, researcher, and car driver.
Rats are active people and generally in good health. They like to keep themselves in shape and fight off any sickness. They can become at times tense, aggressive, and full of nervous energy, conditions which can lead to stress. Regular exercise designed to calm will benefit rats.
Because Rats are social people they like to go out and meet new people. But they are not good at breaking ties and anyone that has a relationship with a Rat must keep up with their vigorous lifestyle. Rats are compatible with a Dragon and Monkey and incompatible with a Horse and Rabbit.
For better results
Your color is warm ochre
Your flower is a daisy
Your fragrance is sandalwood
Your tree is oak
Your flavor is spicy
Your birthstone is emerald
Your lucky number is 11
The Rat is YIN
food is sweetbread
animal is goose
drink is Bordeaux claret
spice is coriander
metal is bronze
herb is rosemary
musical instrument is violin
The Rat motto is ‘I rule’
Rats are full of good advice, charming, honest; enjoy living for the moment, protective, compassionate, communicative, dynamic, domestic, prudent, skilled, clear-headed, upright, attractive, idealistic, wealthy, experimental, gifted, flexible, unbiased, entrepreneurs.
Your darker moments
Rats don’t like to share their troubles with other, may become aggressive, talkative, become possessive, fussy, defensive, excessive, addictive, fickle, stingy, bumptious, bossy, oppressive, nervous, confrontational, narrow-minded, arrogant and downright self-obsessed.
Till next time