Pastel pencils on Clairefontaine Pastelmat, 9″ x 12″. July 31, 2018. This is a redraw of an older piece that I was not happy with.
The Rat (鼠 – Shǔ) is associated with the following years in the Chinese Zodiac: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, and 2008, with the next one being in 2020. Those born in the Year of the Rat are said to be insightful, curious, cautious, and hard working. Their best match is the rat, dragon or monkey. They should avoid anyone from the Horse year.
Their lucky elements are as follows: flower is the lily; colors are blue, green, and gold; numbers are 2, 3, 6, and 8; and direction is West (with northwest and southwest). Their associated element is water. Their energy is Yang.
Many people are aware of the zodiac years, but not many know that the Chinese zodiac animals also have corresponding months, days and even hours. The animals assigned to a month is the inner animal, the day is the true animal, and the hour is the hidden animal.
Rats rule the eleventh lunar month, which corresponds to December 7th to January 5th in the solar calendar. Their season is winter. Their day is Thursday. The hour of the rat is from 23:00 – 00:59 (11:00 PM to 12:59 AM).
China is home to over a hundred native rodent species. Of these, about 20 are considered rats. The common brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) was originally native to China, and has since spread all over the world.