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

Life & Soul Magazine

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…

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