This week, many Western Australians will join more than a billion people around the world in celebrating Chinese New Year, which starts on 25 January.
Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is marked at the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar.
This year, we farewell the year of the pig and welcome the year of the rat. In the Chinese Zodiac, the rat symbolises intelligence, agility and a quick wit.
Chinese New Year is a time to spend with family and friends, and celebrate with food and festivities.
What's happening for Chinese New Year in WA
There are celebrations and festivals happening across Western Australia, including the hugley popluar Perth Chinese New Year Fair to be held in Northbridge on Saturday 2 February.
Information about what's happening is available on the OMI calendar.
So why the rat?
Every year is marked by a different animal in the Chinese Zodiac.
According to folk lore, the order of the 12 Chinese zodiacs animals came from the results of a race instigated by the Jade Emperor, the emperor in heaven.
Despite its short legs, the Rat got to first place by tricking the Ox into giving it a ride to cross the river, but then overtook the Ox to the finish line at the last minute! Apparently, the Cat was originally hitching a ride on the Ox's back too, but was startled by the Rat's sudden move and fell into the river, missing out on getting a place in the top 12 altogether. That is why to this day, the Cat still holds a grudge against the Rat!
The cycle repeats every 12 years, and this year, being the year of the rat, marks the beginning of a new cycle.
Each sign is said to influence the character of those born in that year. Read below about each animal and the characteristics they represent: