The Year of the Rat

Chinese New Years is just around the corner. New years officially starts on January 25th but can span from Jan 17th, a little bit earlier for those who need to prepare, all the way to February 20th. This is the longest holiday in China.

“My mom and I make Banh Chung which is like a Vietnamese sticky rice cake. I really love having time to bond with my mom while making them,” said Lynni Do “My favorite thing about New Years is having time to spend with my family.”

Many relatives come together with gifts after not seeing each other for awhile. An example of a popular gift is red envelopes with money inside.

2020 is the year of the rat which represents the beginning of a new day. The Zodiac animals all go in order from Rat, the first out of all the zodiac animals, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig. The order came from an old myth. According to the myth the Jade Emperor decided the order based on the order in which they arrived in to get to a party. It says that the rat was smart and was able to trick the Ox in giving the Rat a ride to the party. The rat was able to jump right into first place just as they were reaching the palace.

The recent years of the Rat are: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020 and so on in the future.

Most compatible with Rat are the Ox, Dragon, Monkey and least compatible are the Horse, Goat and Rabbit. Lucky things for Rats include the color blue, gold, green.

People born in the year of the rat are optimistic, energetic, clever and adapt quickly to new environments. They are creative, great at taking advantage of opportunities. They are street smart however have a lack of courage.

Chinese New Year is also known as the spring festival. As the cold days start to leave, it’s taken as a new start for plants, crops, harvesting and animals too. During this time, it’s meant for celebrating with family, eating, and praying to god. They want to bring in good luck and push out the bad luck for the new year’s.

Michelle Zou talked about what she does during the New Years, she states,  “we have a little family dinner where we go out and buy really expensive seafood and we have a nice dinner. My relatives usually give me a lot of money in small red traditional envelopes.”

“My favorite part of it all is being able to spend time with my family and eat, even though its not with my full family I’m still glad I can sit down and eat with everyone’s company.”

A friend of Michelle, Vi Nguyen, says that her favorite part was when “we got to eat all the food.”

Many other asian and non asian countries celebrate this holiday as well and it’s a great time to relax and just enjoy the beautiful events that come with the holidays.