Gung hee fat choy. Today marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year 4706, the Year of the Rat, in Chinese celebrations and similarly in other Asian cultures. This S.F. Chronicle nutshell describes its temperment with this quote:
This election year is supposed to be positive for the United States, founded in the year of the monkey.
'The rat and the monkey are very compatible and since it's the year of the rat, it will do well for the monkey,' [Theodora] Lau said in an interview. 'Both the rat and the monkey love the challenges and they will be able to find the solutions.'
Of course, in the Year of the Rat, what could be more appropriate than to have a rat be the star of the show? The question on CNN is Was 'Ratatouille' ripped off in Oscar race?
Among the tales of depravity and violence that dominate this year's Academy Awards race sits the bright and shining Ratatouille. A rat never seemed so sanitized.
Its five nominations rank as the most ever for a computer animated film, and rate second among all animated films, only surpassed by the six received by Disney's Beauty and the Beast. That picture, done in the traditional Disney style in 1991, stands as the only animated film to ever be nominated for best picture.
In addition to the rat celebrated as one of the 12 signs of Chinese astrology, it is also enjoyed in other ways such as this observation from Wall Street Journal reporter James Hookway while he was traveling in Vietnam:
"Rat may taste like chicken, but with a tiny rat drumstick between your fingers, it's hard to pretend it really is."