2020 Year of the Rat: What Does the Lunar Year mean for Your Family?


Prosperity, renewal, adaptability, and ambition. If these sound like words you’d like to associate with 2020, you’re in luck. The year of the Rat in the Chinese zodiac is upon us, starting January 25, 2020.

Chinese new years are based upon the lunar, or moon, cycle and therefore they vary in start and end dates each year. So, if you’ve been basing your zodiac animal on a menu you read at a Chinese restaurant and you were born in January or February, chances are you may not have had an accurate reading. 

year of the rat

There are 12 Chinese zodiac animals, and it takes 12-years to cycle around the whole zodiac. The ancient story of the history of the zodiac is a tale of perseverance and luck. Many animals gathered together as the Jade Emperor decided who would be the 12 animals to represent the Chinese zodiac. They were to have a great race, and the first 12 animals to complete the race would be honored in the zodiac. The order of the Chinese zodiac was determined by the order the animals crossed the finish line. There was a great river to cross in the race, and many of the animals struggled. The rat, unable to swim but adaptable and intelligent said to the Ox, who was strong and good-natured, “May I ride on your back?” While crossing the river on the back of the Ox, Rat pushed Cat, who was also taking a ride on Ox, into the river! This is why there is no Cat in the Chinese zodiac. As Ox swam on and reached the riverbank, Rat jumped off Ox and crossed the finish line first, hence Rat is the first animal in the Chinese zodiac, followed by Ox. great race river

Our year of the adaptable and intelligent Rat affects us all. Read on to see how the year of the Rat will affect you and your family. 


As the Rat is the first sign in the Chinese zodiac, the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac starts over again. Think of where you were 12 years ago, and where you want to be 12 years now. The year of the Rat is an important time for setting intentions and goals. It’s a great time to add a new member to the family! Consider adding a new family tradition this year, as the strength of the year of the Rat will help carry it through the next 12-year cycle. 



Our ability to change in response to our environment and our perseverance are nurtured this year. It’s a great time to try something new, as other years may hold us back with fear or laziness. The year of the Rat will benefit new business development or investment. Children will be able to try new things too, so consider a family trip that may have seemed intimidating before and go for it! 


The element associated with this 2020 year of the Rat is Metal. Metal represents success and productivity. Its nature is to be organized, structured, willfully ambitious, and successful. Consider taking on a new project that may have seemed overwhelming last year. A new exercise regime or other goal may be met with the ambition of the Rat year. A new musical instrument for the kids may be embraced with practice and commitment. 

playing music

Medical Breakthroughs:

The 2020 year of the Rat may see a renewed interest in science which may lead to medical breakthroughs. The metal element represents the lungs, immunity, intestines, and sinuses, so don’t be surprised to see investments and interest in research for complex autoimmune diseases. 

The confidence that the year of the Rat brings will support us in advocating for our own and our family’s healthcare. Feel empowered to ask questions of medical providers and don’t be afraid to seek out second opinions and complementary care this year.

Acupuncture is an excellent modality to increase the health in your life in 2020— the needles are metal and adaptive. Years of hard work to move evidence-based acupuncture into modern medical settings may see great breakthroughs in this year of the Rat. 

talking with doctor

Social Spirit:

2020 is a year to embrace a youthful spirit for all. Socially, we can benefit by empowering our younger generation’s new ideas and new plans. Consider nurturing your child’s spirit with team sports, sleepovers, and other social gatherings. Discuss social issues with your child, like global warming, as their passion and intelligence are fueled by this year of the Rat. 



Special thanks to our astrologer friend, author Katherine Factor.  

For an even more detailed forecast check out Lillian Bridges at Lotus Institute.

2020 Year of the Rat: What Does the Lunar Year mean for Your Family?


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