1. Chinese Zodiac

Year of the Rat: Chinese Zodiac Sign, Personality, Compatibility

Rat Chinese Zodiac Sign

The inconspicuous Rat is the first animal sign of the Chinese zodiac. People born in the years of the Rat are often social, thrifty, and hardworking. These traits prepare them for professional and romantic success, especially later in life when they have amassed considerable favors, connections, and wealth.

Chinese Zodiac Years for Rat

The Chinese lunar calendar roughly corresponds to our Gregorian calendar, although the Chinese New Year usually falls in late January or early February of each year. There are 12 zodiacs, and as such, the year of the Rat comes around once in every 12-year cycle. The most recent Rat year was 2020, while the next will be 2032. Look to see if you’re a Rat with our Chinese zodiac calculator.

Find your Chinese zodiac

Chart of Rat Years, Dates, and Elements

Rat Year

Start of the Lunar Year

End of the Lunar Year



February 5, 2024

January 23, 1925



January 24, 1936

February 10, 1937



February 10, 1948

January 28, 1949



January 28, 1960

February 14, 1961



February 15, 1972

February 2, 1973



February 2, 1984

February 19, 1985



February 19, 1996

February 6, 1997



February 6, 2008

January 25, 2009



January 25, 2020

February 11, 2021



February 11, 2032

January 30, 2033


Rat Zodiac: Personality and Traits

People born in the years of the Rat are known for their sensitivity, intelligence, and agility. They also tend to be social and popular, and they will succeed in any area of life through their outstanding tenacity, as long as they learn not to be miserly either with their resources or their connections.

Social, intelligent, and agile are qualities of Rats that will help them excel in life.

Like the animal that represents their zodiac sign, people who are born in the years of the Rat are extremely industrious and will often work for years to build their professional empire and a harmonious home life. This is their best quality and one that will pay off, especially later in life. 

But they also tend to be thrifty to the point of being stingy. While it’s good to be frugal, sometimes Rats will forget to enjoy the life they have worked hard to build or even go as far as withholding money, resources, and more from even those they love best. For this reason, Rats should remind themselves of what truly matters. 

Male Rats

Male Rats are intelligent, studious, and possess an excellent memory. These traits, combined with the Rat propensity for tenacity, make them successful from a young age and provide a solid foundation on which to build a thriving career. They will be attracted to quiet and elegant partners, and while their younger years may be lean, their middle to late life will prove very prosperous.

Female Rats

Tidy, adaptive, and multi-talented, female Rats are popular and lovable wherever they go. They are also intuitive and imaginative yet able to recognize opportunities in the real world. As such, these ladies will often make quite a name for themselves, no matter where their interests lie. 

Rat and the Five Elements

The five element theory in Chinese astrology classifies everything, including the zodiac signs, into five elements–metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. Rat is governed by water, but you can also be considered a Rat of one of the five elements, each with different traits, depending on the year of your birth. If you were born in 1984, for example, you’re a Wood Rat.





1960, 2020

Metal Rats hoard more than Rats governed by other elements. They seem to want to accumulate anything that catches their fancy–job titles, friends, knowledge, material possessions–the more over the top and flashy, the better! With time, Metal Rats are almost certain to build a luxurious yet comfortable life for themselves.


1972, 2032

Water Rats, compared to others, will be known for their adaptability. This gives them an edge in times of great change, as they will certainly pick up on the way the tide is turning and set sail in the same direction. The waves will help Water Rats reach their goals faster, and with less effort, no matter what destination they had in mind.


1924, 1984

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Wood Rats are more rigid than the rest, but that “short-coming” is amply compensated by their dependable, if somewhat conservative, nature. In short, Wood Rats are the ones everyone can count on in times of distress, especially because they would have built up an abundant life for themselves, with plenty to spare for their loved ones.


1936, 1996

Fire Rats can be hot-headed, but they can equally be generous and protective towards their inner circle. Their passion for work, life, and love may not make them the easiest to be around, but they will, without a doubt, imbue anything they do and love with the same energy and drive for excellence.


1948, 2008

You won’t find Earth Rats coveting the latest fashion or gadgets, as their happiness in life is determined by, above all, simplicity and balance. They can be counted on to offer a sensible analysis of any situation, whether it comes to money or affections. Does that make them boring? Perhaps. But to the right people, Earth Rats are precisely the anchors and bedrock they need.

Lucky Things for Rats

Rat people are governed by the element of water. Therefore the colors, numbers, directions, and timing associated with water offer good luck, while those associated with fire and earth–elements that overcome water–are to be avoided. You can find a list of lucky and unlucky things for Rats below.

Lucky Things

  • Lucky numbers: 1, 4, 6, 9

  • Lucky colors: Gold, White, Blue

  • Lucky directions: Southeast, Northeast

  • Lucky flowers: Lily, Violet, Orchid 

Things to Avoid

  • Unlucky numbers: 8

  • Unlucky colors: Red, Yellow

  • Unlucky directions: West, Southwest

  • Also avoid: cats, hoarding

Love Compatibility: Best and Worst Matches for Rat

Each zodiac sign has its best and worst matches, according to complex calculations involving the five elements system and the characteristics of the animal signs.

The Rat is cautious yet steady, making them the best matches for more ambitious signs like the Dragon and the Monkey or else someone who’s just as dependable and hardworking, such as the Ox.

On the other hand, the Rat may find the Rabbit and the Goat too nervous and meek, while the Horse is too flighty and free-spirited for the Rat’s taste.

Most Compatible: Dragon, Monkey, and Ox

The best zodiac matches for the Rat are the Dragon, Monkey, and Ox, which means unions between the Rat and these signs are highly auspicious, filled with respect and harmony.

The Dragon partner can give the Rat a safe environment in which to grow both at home and in the workspace. Just because the Rat is cautious does not mean they don’t have big dreams! With the Dragon by their side, the Rat can finally flourish as they deserve, romantically and professionally.

The Monkey is clever and inventive, whereas the Rat is dependable and methodical. These two signs are perfect partners who balance each other out because, while the Monkey has no shortage of ideas, the Rat is the one who implements them, making sure all the i’s are dotted and the t’s crossed.

Can you say soulmates? The Rat and the Ox will be surprised to find that their partner seems to understand everything they say and do. There’s a true recognition of kindred spirits when they get together, and with their similar temperaments and craving for stability, these two can be sure that they’ve found their other half.

Least Compatible: Rabbit, Horse and Goat

The worst zodiac matches for the Rat are the Rabbit, Horse, and Goat because these signs clash with the Rat. Relationships, even if they can get off the ground, will be filled with difficulties and tension until they come to an inevitable end.

Neither the Rat nor the Rabbit knows who should be in charge. That by no means suggests this will be an equal partnership, but that neither partner will trust the other’s judgment, and the relationship will be filled with contention and bickering.

Do they want in, or do they want out? The Rat will constantly ask themselves that question of their Horse partner, and it’s not how the Rat pictures a relationship. The Horse simply cannot be kept within the bounds of tradition, at least not to the degree that would make the Rat feel safe.

The Rat and the Goat won’t exactly butt heads, but this union will keep both partners small and uncertain of their directions in life. A better match is one where the partners complement each other. It’s not exactly useful that when one person is fretting–the other frets along with them!

Best Jobs and Careers for Rat

Rats are industrious and gregarious in the workplace. They are adaptive and can overcome almost any difficulty, so they can succeed in any career path. However, they will excel with ease in entrepreneurship, journalism, media, photography, and research.

For many signs, starting their own business is highly stressful, especially in the early years of the company. But no one can bear that pressure better than the Rat, who can work for years to build up to a stunning success.

Rats are also keen observers and intuitive thinkers, which make them great journalists and researchers. Their social nature will give them a leg up in professions that reward “being in the know,” such as media and photography.

Health and Lifestyle Advice

Rats work very hard, but often without recognizing they’re on the verge of burnout until it’s too late. This tendency can lead to an unbalanced lifestyle resulting in anxiety, depression, and possibly, serious health issues such as high blood pressure and heart problems.

This zodiac sign needs to remember to stop and smell the roses. After all, they’re working to build a comfortable lifestyle for their loved ones and themselves. Rats should try to balance work and play and self-discipline and self-care–a lesson that some Rats only learn after they suffer a setback in health. 

Rat and the 12 Zodiac Animals (Origin Story)

The Chinese zodiac signs have an origin story that explains their order. The Rat is an unassuming creature, yet it managed to achieve first place over more powerful zodiac animals like the Tiger and the Dragon. Are you curious how it accomplished this feat?

Legend has it that the Jade Emperor, who governs the heavens, ordered the animals to race across the celestial river to compete for a spot on the list of zodiac signs. The Rat knew it couldn’t triumph over bigger animals, so it tricked the Ox into carrying it on its back.

As the Ox swam close to the finish line, the Rat jumped off and beat the Ox by a narrow margin, taking first place, and followed by ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. That’s why people born in the years of the Rat are considered tenacious and observant, clever and well-liked, with the ability to convert their popularity into advantages.

Famous People Born in the Year of the Rat

Many talented celebrities and famous people were born in the years of the Rat. Here’s a list of those who share your zodiac animal.

  • Eminem

  • Cristiano Ronaldo

  • Rosa Parks

  • Tilda Swinton

  • Mark Zuckerberg

  • LeBron James

  • Charles III

  • Katy Perry

  • Antonio Banderas

  • Scarlett Johansson

  • Lorde

  • Andrew Lloyd Webber

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