Year of Rat will see steady growth
Next year, 2008, is the Chinese Year of the Rat, more specifically, the Earth Rat, says Reyn Tsuru, director and priest of the Shingon Shu Hawaii Buddhist temple.
The Year of the Rat begins Feb. 7 and "is the start of a new 12-year cycle of zodiac animals, so the rat is really the herald of new beginnings. The rat is intelligent and careful, and (its year) is reflected by slow but steady financial growth," Tsuru said.
"Rat years are not as turbulent as, say, a dragon or tiger year, and give good opportunity to put away for the future and make long-range plans. Remember, a rat never starves!" he said.
Akihiro Okada, Shinto priest of the Daijingu Temple of Hawaii, prefers to call it the Year of the Mouse because the word "rat" has a bad connotation of a rodent living in a gutter or sewer.
A mouse is a hard worker, industrious, and symbolizes prosperity, Okada said.