Chinese New Year – 2020 Year of the Rat: What is it and what does it symbolise

Happy Chinese New Year! Today [Saturday 25 January 2020] marks the start of the Chinese New Year.

Otherwise known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, Chinese New Year always falls on the date of the New Moon closest to the beginning of spring, that being sometime between January 21-February 21, with celebrations lasting for 15 days, ending with the Lantern Festival.

Year of the Rat*

In Chinese element theory, each zodiac sign is associated with one of the five elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Gold (Metal), and Water. This is the year of the Metal Rat in the Chinese calendar.

Recent Rat years are 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, and 2020.

The Rat represents the Earthly Branch Zi and the midnight hours (11pm–1am). Moreover, in terms of the Chinese Yin and Yang theory, a Rat is Yang.

Rat symbolism

In Chinese culture, rats represent working diligently and thriftiness, so people born in a Rat year are thought to be wealthy and prosperous.

Rats are quick-witted, resourceful, and smart. They are quick-thinkers and street-smart, and have a strong sense of adventure. Rats are persistent and always manage to keep a positive attitude even or specially during hard times. Rats are adaptable and that serves them well in times of adversity as they always strive to look for solutions.

The Metal element, by its very nature, denotes strength, fortitude, stability. Metal seeks to reinforce and invigorate, it provides needed support and reinforcement.

What energies 2020 Year of the Rat brings

The Year of the Rat denotes new beginnings and a fresh start. Make the most of new opportunities as they arise.

The Metal aspect of the Metal Rat denotes perserverance, so this energy will enable you to reach your goals. The Year of the Rat is a productive year and is action oriented. However don’t be so ambitious and so goal-oriented that you suck the joy out of the journey. There are numerous opportunities that come your way so be present and enjoy what life presents to you moment-by-moment.

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at


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