Astrology | The Year of the Rat
1996 and 2008 are both Years of the Rat. The Rat was one of the quarrelsome animals who were constantly disputing which of them was the most important. The Jade Emperor arranged a race through the forest, promising that each of the participants would be given a year of its own when it would be chief amongst all the beasts. Only twelve animals turned up: Snake, Pig, Dog, Tiger, Dragon, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rat, Ox, Rabbit and Rooster. After running through the forest they had to cross a river. By this time Ox was in the lead, but the cunning Rat jumped on his nose and, as Ox reached the bank, Rat jumped off and scampered across the finishing line.
The Jade Emperor thus gave the first year in the cycle to Rat, the second to Ox, and so on, with each animal having its own year once every dozen years (so the next Year of the Rat will fall in 2020). People born in the Year of the Rat are supposed to be aggressive, with the charm and intelligence to be successful. They are opportunists, living for the moment, and sentimental in romantic matters.
© Copyright Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding (SACU) 2001 by David Wright reprinted from SACU's magazine China Now 155, Page 15, 1995
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