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The acupuncture office of Deborah Hutchinson, PhD, LAc, DiplAc (NCCAOM)®. Located in downtown Lexington, Kentucky, offering acupuncture and moxibustion according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles

新年快乐! (Happy New Year!)

Today, January 25, 2020 is celebrated as the start of the New Year in the Chinese calendar.

This is the Year of the Metal Rat. So what does that mean?


This is the start of a new 12-year cycle in the Chinese zodiac — The rat is the first of the 12 animals associated with each year. There are many stories as to how the animals came to be in the order they are, but the most common element of the story is how the rat tricked the ox to be first to meet the Jade Emperor by hitching a ride on the ox only to jump over the ox to be first in line once they arrived.


In Chinese culture, people born year of the Rat are said to be clever and resourceful, cool under pressure, social, and agile. They take their work seriously and are open to new experiences. They excel at leadership and finding solutions to problems.

In the Chinese calendar there are 5 phases named after natural phenomena: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. These phases are used to categorize everything, including years. It adds another layer of complexity to the traits of the different animals in the zodiac. This year is the Metal Rat. The metal traits include being independent, authoritative, uncompromising possibly to the point of being stubborn, rigidity, and focused drive to achieve goals.

Famous Rats — considering the personality description, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that a lot of politicians are born in Rat years including George Washington, Richard Nixon, John F. Kennedy, George H.W. Bush, and John McCain. Other famous people born in the year of the rat include Mozart, Eminem, Madonna, Prince Charles, Shaquille O’Neal, Scarlett Johansson, Clark Gable, and Marlon Brando.

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