WHEN it comes to horoscopes, you either love them or hate them – but what happens when it comes to your Chinese zodiac sign?
With 12 animals, and five elements, everyone on Earth is said to fall into a specific category which claims to tell them more about their personality and characteristics.
Repeating every 12 years, the animal cycle includes the Rat, the Ox, the Tiger, the Rabbit, the Dragon, the Snake, the Horse, the Goat, the Monkey, the Rooster, the Dog and the Pig.
Each of those can then be split into five elements – Earth, Wood, Fire, Metal and Water.
So what exactly is the 'Metal Rat' zodiac sign and what does it represent?
What year is the Metal Rat?
The Rat is the first of the repeating 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac, constituting part of the Chinese calendar system.
The Rat more generally is associated with the midnight hours and therefore represents the beginning of a new day.
However, if you were born between January 28, 1960, and February 14, 1961, you are specifically a Metal Rat.
Similarly, you're a Metal Rat if born between January 25, 2020, and February 11, 2021.
Other years of the Rat
People born within these date ranges can be said to have been born in the 'Year of the Rat' more generally however: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, and 2020.
Celebrities that fall into the 'Rat' category more generally include Cameron Diaz, Eminem and Hugh Grant.
Characteristics and personality traits of the Metal Rat
In Chinese culture, rats were seen as a sign of wealth and surplus, and, because of their reproduction rate, married couples also prayed to them for children.
Metal rats are absolute hard-nosed grafters, they just want to work and make money. They’re also feisty, sensitive, very strong and equally single-minded.
They are extremely forthright and are imbued with a wondrous (albeit occasionally deluded) self-belief and possess a work ethic that would put any number of "alleged" workaholics to shame.
The Metal Rat is so convinced of his convictions it takes a shift in the earth's atmosphere to convince him otherwise.
But all these traits pale when compared to one other – their blind single-mindedness.
When that single-mindedness goes awry however, disaster strikes – so there'll be an equal number of paupers among the millionaires.
Types of Rats
Each zodiac sign is associated with one of the five elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water.
Metal Rat: Smart, talented, hot-tempered, jealous, with a strong sense of self-awareness.
Water Rat: Talkative, shrewd, conservative, and wise.
Wood Rat: Independent, self-confident, virtuous and talented, with a strong sense of teamwork.
Fire Rat: Energetic, brave, quiet, cordial and friendly to their friends, but very strict with themselves.
Earth Rat: Amiable, honest, flexible, modest, serious, with a strong sense of self-esteem.
The Rat is said to be most compatible with the Ox, the Dragon and the Monkey.
According to the Chinese New Year site, the Rat and the Ox "complement and help one another in both work and life".
Meanwhile, couples that include a Rat and a Dragon are thought to enjoy success together, largely due to them understanding each other well.
Rats are said to be least compatible with the horse, the Goat and the Rabbit.
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