Rat Zodiac Chinese Sign 2021

RatYear Of Rat

2020 is a Metal Rat year, starting from January 25th, 2020 and lasting until February 11th, 2021.  In 2021, a year of the Ox will follow.

The Year of the Rat is the first zodiac sign in the Chinese zodiac cycle. According to the Chinese zodiac story, in the competition held by the Jade Emperor to decide the zodiac animals, the quick-witted rat asked the diligent ox to take him on a ride to cross the river and jumped down before the ox crossed the finish line, so the rat won the race and became the first of the zodiac animals.

The 12 zodiac animals are, in order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. A Rat year occurs every 12 years.

Rat Years

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

The Chinese zodiac is associated with traditional Chinese chronology — a 60-year calendrical cycle, which is the combination of the 12 Earthly Branches (12 terms corresponding to 12 animals, months, and hours) and the 10 Heavenly Stems.

According to this, 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.

Therefore, if you were born in January or February in one of the above years, you might be a Rat, or possibly a Pig.


Rat Year Time Earthly Branch Five Elements Yin/Yang
2020 Jan. 25, 2020 – Feb.11, 2021 Zi (子) Metal (Gold) Yang
2008 Feb. 7, 2008 – Jan. 25, 2009 Zi Earth Yang
1996 Feb. 19, 1996 – Feb. 6, 1997 Zi Fire Yang
1984 Feb. 2, 1984 – Feb. 19, 1985 Zi Wood Yang
1972 Feb. 15, 1972 – Feb. 2, 1973 Zi Water Yang
1960 Jan. 28, 1960 – Feb. 14, 1961 Zi Metal (Gold) Yang
1948 Feb. 10, 1948 – Jan. 28, 1949 Zi Earth Yang
1936 Jan. 24, 1936 – Feb. 10, 1937 Zi Fire Yang
1924 Feb. 5, 1924 – Jan. 23, 1925 Zi Wood Yang


The Rat’s Characteristics and Personality

Rats are quick-witted, resourceful, and smart but lack courage. With rich imaginations and sharp observations, they can take advantage of various opportunities well.

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

Wood, Fire, Earth, Gold, and Water Rats
In Chinese element theory, each zodiac sign is associated with one of the five elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Gold (Metal), and Water. For example, a Wood Rat comes once in a 60-year cycle.

It is theorized that a person’s characteristics are decided by their birth year’s zodiac animal sign and element. So there are five types of Rat, each with different characteristics:

Type of Rat Characteristics
Wood Rat (1924, 1984) Independent, self-confident, virtuous and talented, with a strong sense of teamwork
Fire Rat (1936, 1996) Energetic, brave, quiet, cordial and friendly to their friends, but very strict with themselves
Earth Rat (1948, 2008) Amiable, honest, flexible, modest, serious, with a strong sense of self-esteem
Gold Rat (1960, 2020) Smart, talented, hot-tempered, jealous, with a strong sense of self-awareness
Water Rat (1912, 1972) Talkative, shrewd, conservative, and wise


Men born in a Rat Zodiac year are very curious so they tend to try their hands at anything and they can deal with tasks skillfully.

Due to a lack of courage, as well as good command skills, they are not capable of being leaders. Opportunistic and picky as male Rats are, they do not have broad minds but take a narrow view of things.

Women born in a Rat Zodiac year are pretty, smart, and lovely. They have quick minds and dexterous hands and are able to learn anything. They are always considerate of their families and friends.

Rat’s Love Compatibility

Chinese astrology states that certain zodiac animal combinations get along better than others and that some animal signs are natural enemies.

Chinese horoscope animals’ compatibility takes the characteristics of each animal into account. Those whose characteristics match well can have good compatibility.

Most compatible zodiac signs with a Rat: Ox, Rabbit, Dragon

The Rat and Ox have complementary characters and will help each other in their work and home lives.

The Rat and Dragon will have a good relationship and support each other.

Couples including a Rat and a Rabbit will get along well and be happy.

Least compatible zodiac signs with a Rat: Horse, Rooster

A Rat clashes easily with a Horse or a Rooster. They lack tolerance toward each other and it’s hard to sustain a lasting peace.

How to Build Relationships with Rats

With an active nature, Rats enjoy a flexible social circle. They are interested in attending different kinds of social occasions. They like to make new friends, but they seldom further their relationships with others. Rats have a charming appearance, which can attract more friends.

In love relationships, Rats find it easy to start a new relationship with someone, but they also break off relationships easily, which results in trouble with infidelity.

Lucky things for Rats:
  • Numbers: 2, 3, and numbers containing them (like 23 and 32)
  • Days: the 4th and 13th of every Chinese lunar month
  • Colours: blue, gold, green
  • Flowers: lily, African violet
  • Direction: west, northwest and southwest
  • Months: the 2nd, 5th and 9th Chinese lunar months
Unlucky things for Rats:
  • Colour: yellow, brown
  • Numbers: 5 and 9
  • Direction: south and southeast
  • Months: the 4th, 10th, and 12th Chinese lunar month
Best-Suited Careers for Rats

With good insight and a sharp perspective, Rats have good judgment in what they do, which enables them to prevent unnecessary problems. Rats are cautious and meticulous, so they tend to show a serious attitude toward their work.

The best careers for Rats are:

Administrator, director, manager, entrepreneur, broadcaster, writer, musician, stand-up comedian, politician, lawyer, researcher, and racing car driver.

Good Health for Rats

Generally speaking, Rats are healthy. They are full of energy and active, which helps them keep fit and avoid illness.

A balanced diet and regular exercise benefit Rats. With enough rest, Rats can keep high spirits at work, which can improve work efficiency. When in stressful and tense conditions, Rats are suggested to take a tour to free stress and tension.

Rat’s Horoscope in 2021

2021 is a year of the Ox, and the overall fortunes of Rat Zodiac people (those born in a year of the Rat) are very good. Since the zodiac Rat and the zodiac Ox have a good relationship, the fortunes of the Rat Zodiac people will be exceptionally smooth. This year, regardless of whether they have difficulties in their careers or studies, Rats can get help from others in time.

However, vigorous career luck also indicates that Rats’ workload will increase. In 2021, people belonging to the Rat Zodiac sign must be cautious about their health due to high-intensity work and academic pressure.

Although there is no particular romantic luck to help them out this year, with other areas of luck generally good, Rat Zodiac people’s emotional lives will be relatively stable. As long as they are their normal selves, Rats can reap happiness.


Learn more about Rat’s Monthly Forecast in 2021.

Are Rat Years Unlucky Years for Rats?

According to Chinese astrology, the year of their birth sign (本命年běnmìngnián /bnn-ming-nyen/ ‘origin (of) life year’) will bring people nothing but bad luck. It is believed that people will offend Tai Sui, the God of Age, in their benmingnian.

Therefore, Rats should pay special attention to avoid misfortune in their lives in the year of their birth sign. The next Rat Zodiac year is 2032. It starts with the Chinese New Year (February 11). Read more about How to Be Lucky in Your Ben Ming Nian.