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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Succinct Guide To Chinese New Years Rats

By Steve Chung

The Chinese culture has a special space for the rat symbol. Let us search about the Chinese New Year rat symbol and it's special characteristics.

Not many people would like to link themselves with the picture of the rat outside of the Chinese culture. For the majority of westerners the rat is a tiny, dirty, shady character that dwells in the dirtiest of places. On the contrary the Chinese thinkers known for their observation skills draw a completely different character sketch of the rat.

Intelligence is one of the moralities given to the rat. The Chinese have also observed the rat to be a hardworking and creative animal that likes to be in control of things. In fact they even classified the animal as a perfectionist. These are some of the qualities that the Chinese philosophers have observed in this particular animal.

As per the Chinese culture, for decades now each year has a particular animal suggested to it. A lot of study and historical background as to what animal should be assigned to which year. But as the Chinese people observe the lunar calendar, there are twelve animals that function every twelfth year in rotation as used by the Chinese.

In the Chinese cultural heritage, the rat holds a position of honor and reverence. According to the Chinese history, the twelve animals that rotate based on the lunar calendar were made to contest in a race. From the beginning of the race, the ox was leading but he was unaware of the fact that the rat was riding on his back all the while. When the ox was about to finish the race first, the rat hopped off his back and took the victory.

Thus, it seems that the whole animal history begins with the symbol of the rat. Hence, after the completion of every twelfth year, a cycle gets completed and a whole new cycle begins with the year of the rat.

Hence, we see that the rat is well-known for his innovative character and intelligence. This shrewd animal can burrow into any kind of problem and find a path to succeed in its aim. Hence, it is appreciated for its sharpness and intelligent personality.

On reading the character sketch drawn up by Chinese philosophers one would actually not feel that bad if one's personality was to be compared with the Chinese perception of the rat's personality traits. Nonetheless the idea is difficult to absorb for the west because of their own traditional perception of the animal.

Yet another feature about the twelve animals of the lunar cycle that might be conflicting and interesting is the compatibility subject. What led to these connections is still quite unfamiliar, but the Chinese thinkers do have reasons for their beliefs about which animal is compatible to which one or whether they will have fights.

Amazingly the rat has great compatibility with the monkey. Where do they get this from? Who knows? But nonetheless this is what the prevailing beliefs are in China. From ancient times the year of the rat has been welcomed by the Chinese as a sign of protection and prosperity.

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