THE YEAR OF THE RAT
Las Vegas Travel Blog› entry 1 of 5 › view all entries
January 12th, 2008 – by: mellemel8
Say goodbye to the Year of the Pig: The rat begins its yearlong reign today, Chinese New Year, and ends Jan. 25, 2009.
The casinos are elaborately bedazzled in crimson and gold in readiness for the second-biggest gaming weekend of the year, which attracts thousands of free-spending Chinese visitors. Dragon dances and other cultural offerings abound, and a lush Chinese garden has sprouted in the Conservatory at the Bellagio, complete with a gigantic topiary rodent.
The rat has a less-than-positive connotation in the West, with that unshakable reputation of deserting sinking ships and being generally sneaky and sinister.
But in the terms of the ancient Chinese zodiac of 12 animal signs, the rat is respected and welcomed as a protector and bringer of material prosperity.
Rat on! In celebration of the Year of the Rat, here’s a lighthearted look at rats we love, rats we don’t and rats we’ll never forget. (We tried not to cheat by including too many mice, but some were just irresistible.) Did we miss any notorious rats? Rat them out by leaving a comment or by sending an e-mail (click on the reporter's name above).
10 positive rat traits: Meticulous, intelligent, compassionate, charismatic, ambitious, practical, industrious, eloquent, creative, hardworking
10 negative rat traits: Bossy, back-stabbing, resentful, manipulative, cruel, power-driven, critical, stingy, defensive, dishonest
Born in the Year of the Rat: Al Gore, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, William Shakespeare, Olivia Newton John, Prince Charles, Sean Penn, George Washington, Claude Monet, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Marlon Brando, Jimmy Carter, Louis Armstrong, Hugh Grant, Truman Capote, Irving Berlin, Donna Summer, Antonio Banderas, Doris Day, Clark Gable, Gene Kelly, Andrew Lloyd Webber, George H.
Rats for beginners: “Ratatouille;” Scabbers from the “Harry Potter” books; Ratty from “Wind in the Willows;” Mr. Squeak from “Animaniacs;” Jacques and Gus from “Cinderella;” Samuel Whiskers (Beatrix Potter); Ratta, Rattate and Ratticate from “Pokemon;” Rizzo from “The Muppets;” Splinter from “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles;” Annette Funicello, Britney Spears and all former Mouseketeers
Rock ’n’ roll rats: Ratt, Ratdog, Boomtown Rats, DJ Danger Mouse, Modest Mouse
Hometown rats: Baccarat; Roof rats; Pack rats; The Groomtown Desert Rat, a local UFO blogger
Rats we love: Debbie “the Rat Lady” Ducommun (check out her fanclub here), Ratbert from “Dilbert”
Rats we don’t: Bratz, Chuck E.
Retro rats: The Rat Pack, Rat Fink (Ed “Big Daddy” Roth)
Cinematic rats: James Cagney, Willard, Ben, Socrates, Templeton, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Ratso Rizzo, Ratner from “Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Ratboy, The Rat Patrol, Brett Ratner
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!