Hustle and Be Rewarded in the Chinese Rat Year

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The Chinese Metal Rat Year begins on January 25, 2020.  The rat year is an energetic year, full of opportunities.  This is a year to set goals and follow through with thoughtful, practical action.  The rat is the beginning of a new cycle and so has a double potential to allow you to start with a clean slate.  There is a potential for a year of plenty.  If you don’t make the effort, you will miss out on the bounty of the year.  This year think about what your new opportunities are and do forward planning to put your hustle into practical action. 


Each year some animals are favored and others need to exert some caution.  In the year of the Rat the luckiest animals are the Ox, Dragon and Monkey.  The animals with moderately good luck are the Tiger, Snake, Dog and Pig.  The animals that should proceed with caution are the Rat, Rabbit, Horse, Goat, and Rooster.  To find out which animal you are, check out the chart below.  If you are born in January or early February, I advise that you get a more specific reading of your animal because as you can see, the Chinese New Year turns over at a different date each year sometime between January 20 and February 20. 

His Holiness Grandmaster Lin Yun advised all animals affected by the year to carry a jade Ox for the year because this is the helper for the Rat year and it can help moderate any ill effects of the year’s energy.  Harmony Gardens has Jade Ox (see Rat Year Charm) available through our website.  


The New Year offers you a new beginning.  The Chinese New Year period extends from the new moon which is Chinese New Years Eve to the full moon, usually 15 days later known as the Lantern Festival.  In preparation for the New Year attend to any repairs, cleaning and haircuts so that they will be done before the Dog year begins.  When doing your sweeping and cleaning at the end of the Pig year know that you are really “cleaning out the old” in many ways.  Once the New Year arrives, you should refrain from sweeping away your good luck.  In the vein of preparing for the year, you should also clean up any debts that you owe before the New Year or at least during the New Year period.  Avoid using anything sharp during the New Year period such as knives and scissors.  

After the New Year arrives, you should plan to celebrate with friends and family and refrain from negative words and thoughts.  This is a time to direct your thoughts to what you wish to accomplish this year and focus on spreading your positive spirit into the world.


Food always figures importantly in Chinese New Year.  Oranges, tangerines and kumquats are all considered good fortune especially at this time of the year.  Many friends give kumquats to their family and friends as a wish for gold in the year to come.  Also, it is said that if you have paper narcissus blooming during Chinese New Year you will have good luck throughout the year.  

A Chinese New Year feast would always include noodles for long life, dumplings for prosperity, sweets for a sweet year, long beans or leafy greens for longevity, Sesame balls for a growing fortune and at the end of the meal, a whole fish for abundance for the whole family. 

Generosity is another wonderful part of the New Year.  Gifts of food or other small gifts are given to friends and relatives and red envelopes filled with cash are often given to young unmarried members of the family. The money in the red envelope is designed to suppress any bad luck and protect good luck in the New Year. 

Best wishes for a prosperous, healthy, loving and joyful Rat Year!

Shelley Sparks



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