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Here Are 8 Fun Facts About The Year Of The Rat According To Ancient Chinese Mythology

Did you know that people used to pray to rats?

Cover image via Cooking for Engineers Dr Oetker

1. Although rats aren’t commonly perceived as the most lovable animal, the rat ranks first in the Chinese zodiac cycle

Image via Pinterest

According to a well-known Chinese legend, the Jade Emperor invited the entire animal kingdom to participate in a Great Race, in which the first twelve animals to cross the finishing line would be selected as the zodiac calendar animals.

On the day of the race, the rat ran as fast as it could but soon noticed the ox was way ahead. In the attempt to place first, the quick-witted rat tricked the ox into giving him a ride across the river. Both arrived first, but the rat slyly jumped down before the ox could cross the finish line. 

And that, folks, is a recap on how the rat cunningly won the race and became the first of the zodiac animals.

2. This 2020, we are not only entering a new decade but are also re-starting the zodiac cycle!

Image via Ancient Origins

The last time the rat made an appearance on the Chinese calendar was 12 years ago in 2008. This knowledge isn't surprising as all the animals are on a 12-year rotation. However, most people are unaware that the cycle would start afresh this CNY! 

3. The rat also starred in alternate Chinese legends regarding the origin of the world

There are other legends besides the Great Race zodiac story that speculate why the rat ranks above the other eleven animals in the Chinese calendar.

In one Chinese myth, the universe was pure darkness in the beginning, and it took on the form of an egg. The rat supposedly bit off a crack of the universe to let in the air, resulting in the separation of the heavens and earth, thus starting the world. 

4. In Chinese culture, those born in the Year of the Rat are generally thought to be industrious, thrifty, and diligent

Image via Giphy

People born in the Year of the Rat are said to possess characteristics associated with rats, which are: social, creative, intelligent, honest, ambitious, and generous.

No doubt, they might also be considered shrewd due to the rat's role in the Chinese zodiac story!

5. There are five types of rats in the Chinese Element Theory

Image via Kinesiology

You may know of the five elemental spirits in Frozen 2's Enchanted Forest, but did you know that there are also five elements in the Chinese Element Theories? 

Known as Wu Xing, these include Earth, Metal, Water, Wood, and Fire, and the rats for each element possess separate characteristics.

6. 2020 is the year of the Yang Metal Rat

Image via Freepik

In terms of Yin and Yang, the Rat falls under the Yang category and represents the beginning of a new day.

Those born in 2020 are said to be positive, confident, intelligent, talented, and loyal. They are also possessive, easily jealous, quick-tempered, and stubborn. That being said, if anyone in your family is expecting this golden New Year, why not share these predictions with them to spark some laughter around the dinner table!

7. The Rat’s most compatible Chinese zodiac signs are the Monkey, Ox, and Dragon

Image via Pinterest

They also apparently make the worst matches with the Horse and Rooster signs, so let your matchmaker aunties know before it's too late!

8. Rats were believed to be a sign of wealth and surplus

Image via I Curate You

Because of their high reproduction rate, ancient Chinese culture believed rats are a lucky symbol of fertility. Because of this, married couples with difficulty conceiving used to pray to rats for children!

This CNY, usher in the Year of the Rat by visiting Central i-City, where you will be welcomed by a supercute 8-foot-tall Golden Prosperity Rat

Image via Central i-City

Immerse yourself in the festive CNY spirit by taking a relaxing stroll through the Alley of Blossoming Prosperity. You can also enjoy some New Year shopping and redeem exclusive gifts at the CNY Bazaar.

From 8 January to 2 February 2020, you and your family can participate in workshops, enjoy lion dance performances, and other fun festive activities

Image via Central i-City

Check out the schedule of exciting events happening this weekend:

18 Jan 2020, Saturday:
12pm - Lion dance
1pm - Chinese shadow puppet making workshop
3pm - God of prosperity appearance
5pm - Wushu performance

19 Jan 2020, Sunday:
1pm - Crepe paper cherry blossom workshop
3pm - Traditional CNY paper-cutting workshop
4pm - 8 majestic drum performance
5pm - God of prosperity appearance

Don't miss these FREE performances and workshops! Bring your kids for an exciting family bonding session and they are sure to leave with the fondest of memories!

That’s not all! Great fortune awaits when you 'Shop, Play & Win'!

Image via Central i-City

First, just spend RM100 in multiple receipts at any shops in Central i-City for a chance to win an all-paid-for shopping spree worth up to RM29,000. Next, visit the Central i-City game booth Central Concourse and play a game. The top 10 participants with the highest scores will be entitled to win great prizes!

Find out more here.

You also stand the chance to redeem exclusive gifts when you spend RM300 and above

Here's how you can be eligible:

Tier 1: Spend RM 300 in multiple receipts to redeem a set of Multi-function Prosperity ang pows.
Tier 2: Spend RM 500 in multiple receipts to redeem two sets of Multi-function Prosperity ang pows.
Tier 3: Spend RM 800 in multiple receipts to redeem two sets of Multi-function Prosperity Angpow and one CNY Eleph Bag.

Click here for additional details.

The contest period lasts from 9 January to 2 February 2020, so why wait? It's the season with a reason to shop to your heart’s content!

Visit Central i-City's webpage for more information.

For more #CNY stories, click here:

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