12:07 GMT26 January 2020
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    • Father Frost, who came from the town of Veliky Ustyug, holds a vase with a white rat in it, a symbol of the year 2020.
    • Kitchen pilferers
    • A rat stands atop a police hat during a search of explosives practice on September 9, 2008, in Bogota. Colombian police is developing an investigation with rats to prevent land mines buried during the conflict.
    • Sculpture 'Little Rat 'Boozer', 'Aristocrat Rat' and tea set 'Little Rat 'Thief' at the gallery of contemporary porcelain in Moscow
    • White rat near a Christmas tree
    • The rat temple in India
    • Marina, the wife of Russian zoologist Yevgeny Rybaltovsky, holds a Gambian rat 'Gambi'
    • An image of a rat on the pavement - dedicated to the legend about a rat-catcher of Hamelin
    • Rats in the kitchen
    • Indian shop owner, Sonu Sharma, 26, nicknamed the Ratman, has over 50 rats. He adopted four white rats over a year ago since then they multiplied and he has kept many as pets.
    • A hamster performs tricks on 4 February 2008 in Hangzhou, in eastern China's Zhejiang province.
    • Rat nicknamed Pukhlyash (Plumpy) sits under a Christmas tree in a zoo shop in Moscow
    • New Year presents and souvenirs at TSUM shopping mall in Moscow
    • A rat gets out of its cage in the premises of the Dutch police in Rotterdam. Since the end of 2011, the Dutch police trains rats to recognise the smell of gunpowder and drugs
    • The mouse sits next to the cat. A small kitten fell asleep. Rat's eating. Rodent and predator together.
    • A porcelain mouse statuette at TSUM shopping mall in Moscow
    • A New Year present for a rat
    • A rat lies in a plastic house
    © Sputnik / Vitaliy Belousov
    Father Frost, who came from the town of Veliky Ustyug, holds a vase with a white rat in it, a symbol of the year 2020.

    According to Chinese astrology, the Rat years are known as years of transformation. Many people might face some important changes, both in their personal lives and in their careers.

    2020 is the Chinese year of the White Metal Rat, it starts from 25 January and ends on 11 February 2021.

    The Rat is the first in the rotation of the 12 zodiac signs, so it marks the beginning of a new 12-year cycle.

    Check out our photo gallery to learn something new about rats as symbols of the year. 

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