Year of the Rat (Actually Mouse)
When I first learned my son would be born in the year of the rat I was disappointed. A rat? That sounds so dirty and unappealing. Then people started telling me good traits about the rat, and I tried to look at the positives. And when my mom kept call the rat Mickey Mouse, my parents told me that "rat" is a bad translation, because in Chinese they actually say mouse. So if you're wondering what it means to be born in the Year of the Mouse, here's what I've learned!
General Zodiac Facts and The Story of the Great Race
First of all, the Chinese zodiac is more than a 12 year cycle, it's actually a 60 year cycle. There are 12 animals and 5 elements. Each animal sign (mouse, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, pig) is associated with one of the five elements (wood, earth, fire, gold, and water). Therefore, the combination of each animal and element brings about different characteristics.
If you're unaware of how the order of the zodiac signs came about, here is the gist of the story. Legend has it that the first Chinese Emperor, the Jade Emperor, created the lunar calendar based on the cycles of the moon. One day, he called forth the 12 zodiac animals for a race across the river. The clever mouse, who could not swim, asked to hitch a ride on the ox's back, and the generous ox obliged. But instead of reaching the other side together or allowing the ox to be first, the mouse jumped off onto the shore ahead of him, becoming the first to reach the other side of the river. The tiger and rabbit then followed. You'd think the dragon would have come in first place since it can fly, but apparently it needed to stop and help some villagers along the way, and then it saw a little rabbit on a log and decided to help it get across the river by blowing a puff of air to help it along (As a dragon myself, I quite like that story). So, the dragon came in 5th place. Then came the snake who scared the horse, so the horse came in seventh place after the snake. The monkey, the rooster, and the sheep helped each other across on a raft the rooster found. So, the sheep came in eight place, the monkey in ninth, and the rooster in tenth. The dog, who is actually a good swimmer, came in eleventh place, because he couldn't resist the temptation of bathing in the river. And just as the emperor was about to close the race, the little piggy waddled his way over. He got hungry in the middle of the race and so was delayed after stopping to eat and take a nap. The outcome of the race was used as a way not just to determine years, but also months, days, and hours.
Hours each Zodiac represent:
General Mouse Qualities
In general, those born in the Year of the Mouse are known to be resourceful, quick-witted, diligent workers, enterprising, rich with imagination, make sharp observations, optimistic, cheerful, well-liked, calculating, territorial, hot-tempered, stubborn, and are thought to be wealthy and prosperous.
2020 Year of the Gold Mouse
Oolahlah what is the year of the Gold Mouse? Gold Mice are known to be visionary, smart, hot-tempered, jealous, have a strong sense of self-awareness as well as awareness of others, possessive, stubborn, positive and active in life. It seems Gold Mice tend to be good with finances, but may have spending problems if they aren't mindful. Well-respected by others, they tend to make good leaders, as long as they manage their temper. They're tender-hearted when it comes personal relationships and can't stand betrayals or quarrels.
Male vs. Female Mouse
It's no surprise that male and female mice may have some differing characteristics.
Male Mouse Characteristics
Men born in the Year of the Mouse tend to be curious, intelligent, diligent, positive, cheerful, responsible, gregarious, short-tempered, inflexible, have a keen sense of intuition, has good memory, and business acumen. They can also be intolerant of people who are less diligent and focused.
Female Mouse Characteristics
Women born in the Year of the Mouse tend to be optimistic, frugal, hardworking, highly adaptable, popular, resourceful, versatile, impulsive, nagging, and intelligent. They can also be emotionally dependent on others.
It is said that those born in the Year of the Mouse are most compatible with Dragons (yay, Mama's boy!), Ox, and Monkeys. I have found conflicting information on Rabbits, though. Some say they're compatible, while others say they are not. I'm not sure if this is just relevant to romantic compatibility or compatibility in general. Signs that tend to be least compatible with Mice are Horses, Roosters, Sheep, and again possibly Rabbits.
Their lucky numbers are 2 and 3 or numbers with those numbers. Unlucky numbers are 5 and 9. Their lucky colors are blue, gold, and green; while unlucky colors are yellow and brown.
Lucky flowers are lilies and African violets. There are no unlucky flowers.
Lucky directions are west, northwest, and southwest; while unlucky directions are south and southeast. I have no idea how this is determined, but it's most fascinating to me.
Were you born in the Year of the Mouse or are you having a child this year, too? If you found this post interesting, remember to share it with your friends!
I'm praying our son will be a courageous and compassionate leader in whatever he does! (Though I'm hoping he doesn't follow me into the entertainment industry.)
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