Fast, agile and clever, the Rat is the first of all the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac.
People looking to understand their 1996 Chinese zodiac – the Year of the Rat – quickly come to understand that this animal doesn’t have the same reputation for being crafty and unclean like in the West.
Instead, people born in 1996 are often pleasantly surprised by how inventive, creative and swift of wit their Chinese astrological animal, the Rat, can be.
Read on to find out even more about the personality of the Rat, the 1996 Chinese astrology animal, and to explore how it can bring you good fortune.
Personality type of the 1996 Chinese zodiac
If you were born in 1996, the Year of the Fire Rat in Chinese astrology, you are a gifted and quick witted individual, always pleased to pioneer a new direction in life.
The Rat is the first of the twelve Chinese zodiac animals, and is regarded as the first because of where the Rat placed in the Great Race.
Ancient Chinese folklore that explains the Chinese zodiac reveals that the twelve animals we know came from an event known as the Great Race.
Summoned by the ruler of the gods, the Jade Emperor, legend has it that the twelve animals who reached him first across a wide river were each given a year to preside over.
The Rat won out of all of the animals, and did so through a mixture of bravery, swiftness and intelligence.
You’ll find that these personality types for people born in 1996 are prominent indeed, and that people born in this year have no problem trying new things and trusting their hunches.
While in Western society the Rat is seen with suspicion, in the East it is more an animal that overcomes adversity through smarts and a unique perspective – the Rat is far smaller than most of the rest of the animals, after all.
Because of that, survival and good fortune rely on doing what others do not – or cannot.
People born in 1996, the Year of the Rat, are therefore pretty good at inventing new ways to achieve goals, or going their own way – whatever the rules or traditional societal expectations might dictate.
However, this adaptiveness is not something that people born in 1996 us to get around being hard working.
These are actually some of the most industrious folks you’ll ever meet, and they can tackle new projects and assignments with admirable energy and a consistently inquisitive mind.
What element is 1996?
Chinese astrology is not just about the animals of the Chinese zodiac. In fact, you are likely to find that even two of the same animal are unlike one another if they were born twelve or more years apart.
That’s because each year in the Chinese calendar also has an element, not just an animal – and the element of 1996 is Fire.
Therefore, more accurately speaking, we would call 1996 the Year of the Fire Rat.
This is quite a dynamic combination, and it means that people born a Fire Rat in 1996 are faster of wit, mind and creative thinking than even other Rat people of other elements.
The Fire Rat is more steered by gut feeling and his or her heart than many others too, and often makes startlingly accurate decisions that they can’t always follow up with logic.
In fact, if confronted about the logical holes in their plans, these people can get a little defensive – they can’t even explain their reasoning to themselves much of the time, but it seldom steers them wrong.
The Fire element of 1996 in Chinese astrology is forceful and pronounced, and it leads the Rat people born in this year to be quite restless if they cannot feel change and variety in their lives.
This can cause as many issues as it can opportunities, as friends come and go and relationships sometimes burn out before they can get going.
However, the Fire Rat people born in 1996 are also the kinds of people who love to socialise.
Not just partying, the Fire Rat is also an individual keen to meet people from all walks of life, and welcome new perspectives on the world by doing so.
Best love matches for the 1996 zodiac
One thing that it’s important to remember about the Fire Rat, born in 1996 in Chinese astrology, is that this is an individual blessed with a lot of personal charm and charisma.
As such, these folks have little problem finding love, and tend to attract plenty of suitors. But of course, as with anything, compatibility between Chinese zodiac signs is always smart to have some knowledge in.
The match of a Rat and an Ox in Chinese astrology is very favourable – perhaps because these animals were side by side working together in the Great Race that first founded the Chinese zodiac in ancient mythology.
This relationship will mix quick-wittedness with an unflappable demeanour and tremendous resilience to life’s challenges – a real power couple if ever there was one.
Another fantastic love match for the Rat in Chinese astrology is the Monkey. These two are kindred spirits in many ways, using ingenuity and a sense of humour to get through life in new, inventive ways.
While on the surface it may look like neither partner is taking anything seriously, there is a deep-rooted appreciation that will blossom between this pair here.
And one of perhaps the most surprising matches is the love match of the Rat and Dragon in Chinese astrology.
The natural leadership and generous heart of the Dragon finds a great deal of comic relief and levity in the Rat.
Likewise, the Rat comes to value the loyalty, sincerity and overall charm of the Dragon, and together they form a gracious couple, always hosting the most wonderful events in the social calendar.
Wealth and fortune for the 1996 Chinese zodiac
Fast ideas and the capability to put them into action with stunning confidence means that Rat people in Chinese astrology are very good at following their nose to make fast money – and the impulsive Fire Rat all the more so.
However, they also have the smarts to keep their investments wise and on the move, so any losses that the Rat may experience tend to be short-lived.
Despite moving quickly, people born in 1996, the Year of the Rat, are also very perceptive.
They have an appreciation of the longer term perspective of business and monetary growth, meaning that they are just as capable of moving with a company as an employee as steering the course of their own business as an entrepreneur or company president.
Artistic and creative careers are also very well suited to these folks, though, thanks to the brilliant minds that Fire Rat people born in 1996 possess – and the personal magnetism they have to take those ideas forward and persuade people to their side.
These people understand the value of a good team pulling in the same direction, but likewise are unafraid of going it alone if the situation demands it.
In their career paths, people born in the Year of the Rat enjoy positions of prestige, and the titles that go with them.
Status is important to these folks, and they like to show the world the value of their ambitions.
Lucky symbols and numbers
Understanding Chinese astrology is more than just coming to grips with the different personalities of each of its twelve animals, as well as the elements surrounding them.
You can also extend your insight into things further by getting to the bottom of what brings certain Chinese zodiac signs luck – and that is as true of the Rat born in 1996 as of anyone else.
Starting with lucky colours, it’s often quite striking and exciting colours that really align well with what’s lucky for people born in the Year of the Rat.
Those born in 1996 will find themselves especially drawn to colours like blue and gold, as well as rich earth greens.
Be aware though, that people born in the Year of the Rat experience yellow and brown as unlucky colours that are wise to avoid.
Meanwhile, lucky numbers for the Year of the Rat folks, whether they are people born in 1996 or Rat people from another Chinese astrological year, are easy to remember. In short, they are 2 and 3.
Ubiquitous numbers indeed, perhaps indicative of the natural good luck that follows people born in the Year of the Rat around – these numbers crop up so much in daily life that how could someone born a Fire Rat be anything but lucky?
Best not to take that for granted though, because the Rat is advised to avoid certain unlucky numbers too. In this case, those are 5 and 9.
Because people born in the Year of the Rat are so led by their instincts, they can sometimes have a kind of subconscious psychological dislike of those numbers and feel unable to articulate why.
3 unusual facts about the 1996 Chinese zodiac
There is so much folklore, myth and depth to each of the Chinese astrological animals, and if you were born in 1996 under the lucky stars of the Fire Rat, you are no exception to that rule.
For all their wearing their heart on their sleeve, Rat people are anything but straightforward or boring.
A deeper understanding of these people can be reached by keeping some more obscure facts in mind.
Firstly, for example, the story of how the Rat won the Great Race of legend is very descriptive of the persuasiveness and intellect of these people in Chinese astrology.
The Rat was too small to cross the broad river preventing him from the finish line alone, and befriended the Ox to make it happen.
So bright was the Rat that he then leapt clear of the Ox once it crossed the river to cross the finish line first – yet the Ox liked the Rat so much there were no objections.
Secondly, as part of the same myth, the Rat caused the Cat to fall off the Ox into the river – the Cat had been along for the ride too until that point.
Some myths say that the Rat made the Cat fall on purpose, others say it was an accident, but the end result was the same – the domestic cat is said to hunt rats and rodents up to even the present day because of this myth, many Chinese believe.
Thirdly, one personality characteristic of people born in the Year of the Rat, 1996, is that they can be quite choosy.
While other animals in Chinese astrology are far more adept to go with the flow, the Rat is an individual who prefers things to be just so.
The fussiness in them is often overlooked though, due to their personal charm and strong ambitions, which overshadow this negativity.
My final thoughts
In the folklore of Western civilisation, the rat is often an animal summarised as a trickster or a deceptive sort, who would practice villainous deeds to get their way – or just for the fun of mischief.
Yet as people born as the Fire Rat in 1996 can attest, the Chinese interpretation of the Rat is far more flattering.
Indeed, these are people who are born to chart new paths for the rest of us to follow, and they have personalities that are so adaptive that no amount of difficulty ever slows them down for long.
With fast wits to talk their way around trouble and fast minds to calculate around unexpected events, the Rat is a valued friend or partner to have in life.
However, they should be careful not to behave like a fairweather friend sometimes, keen to evoke change for its own sake – a stable life of slow progress can be just as satisfying.