2020: Year of the Baltimore Rat

2020: Year of the Baltimore Rat

Did you know 2020 is a Year of the Rat according to the Chinese zodiac? Here at Chase Street A&E we think this must be a good omen for Baltimore City. If we've claimed the rat as our unofficial mascot, then this is our year! We've put together a few gifts and souvenirs to commemorate this alignment, which only happens every 12 years.

If you don't have plans for New Year's Eve in Baltimore, there are a ton of options! Charm City has all sorts of events with lots of character, many of which are well-known and well-attended (such as the Ball Drop in Hampden at 34th Street and the fireworks in the Inner Harbor).  But don't forget to check out the smaller local venues!  We'll be checking Baltimore Food and Fun for the latest listings.

But what does it mean for it to be a year of the Rat? The rat represents wisdom. Personality traits for the people born in the year of the Rat are intelligent, charming, quick-witted, practical, ambitious, and good at economizing as well as social activities. The weaknesses are that the Rats are likely to be timid, stubborn, wordy, greedy, devious, too eager for power and love to gossip.

Baltimore has had a tumultuous relationship with rats, but we choose to claim it as a snarky symbol of our city's potential despite how some may perceive it. We think this story captures the Baltimore's scrappy spirit perfectly:

Once upon a time, the mighty Jade Emperor called for a great animal race to decide the years on the calendar. Each year would be named in the order the animal finished the race and the race was to be a short run through a forest and then a swim across a raging river.
Naturally, the Cat and the Rat weren’t too excited about a swim, as they were the worst swimmers in the animal kingdom. However, they smartly came up with the idea to ask the friendly Ox for a ride on his back who agreed and off they went. Midway across the river, the Rat pushed the Cat into the water and, unable to swim, the Cat floated downstream far away from the finish line. Then as the Ox neared the other side, the Rat jumped ahead of him crossing the finish line by a nose and thereby claiming first place for himself.
As for the poor Cat, he made it out of the river eventually but didn’t cross the finish line in time to grab a place on the calendar. Because the Rat made the Cat lose, it’s said that this is why cats always chase rats, as revenge for the race.
Happy new year to all our friends and family in the Baltimore City community! We really do believe that it's going to be a year full of adventure and opportunity.

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