Updated: Jan 26, 2020
The Franklin Township Republican club would like to wish those who celebrate a very happy Chinese New Year! Here's an interesting fact according to ChineseNewYear.net:
The Rat is the first of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. The Rat tricked the Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived at the finish line, Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox, becoming first.
The Rat is also associated with the Earthly Branch (地支—dì zhī) Zi (子) and the midnight hours. In the terms of yin and yang (阴阳—yīn yáng), the Rat i" yang and represents the beginning of a new day.
In Chinese culture, rats were seen as a sign of wealth and surplus. Because of their reproduction rate, married couples also prayed to them for children.
Afraid to wish someone a happy Chinese New Year because it's politically incorrect? Check out this Wall Street Journal article by Chinese immigrant Helen Raleigh where she says "the idea of 'cultural appropriation' is silly" and she encourages us to "appropriate Chinese culture by wearing something Chinese, learning how to say 'Happy New Year' ('Gong xi fa cai!' in Mandarin), cooking and eating Chinese food, and hanging out with your Chinese friends".