THE YEAR OF THE RAT

Las Vegas Travel Blog

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ME :)


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.
GAZEBO
This year — 2008-09 — is the Year of the Earth Rat (there are also metal, water, wood and fire rats).

 

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.
MOUNTAINS
W. Bush

 

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.
CONFUSIOUS
Cheese (kiddie Vegas), Da Brat, Ken “The Rat” Linseman (hockey player)

 

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


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ME :)
ME :)
GAZEBO
GAZEBO
MOUNTAINS
MOUNTAINS
CONFUSIOUS
CONFUSIOUS
YEAR OF THE RAT
YEAR OF THE RAT
PAPER LANTERNS
PAPER LANTERNS
Las Vegas
photo by: maka77