Year of the Rat Gift Guide

An animal that's respected for its resourcefulness, the little rodent is celebrated in each product here

According to the Chinese lunisolar calendar, 2020 is the year of the metal rat. Beginning 25 January, this lunar year promises various things depending on your astrological sign and birth year, but it’s believed that since the rat is the first year of the 12-year cycle (and it’s the beginning of a new decade), this year can be used to set the tone and pace for the next 12 years. An animal that’s respected for its resourcefulness, savvy, wealth and fertility, the rat receives its rightful recognition in all the products we have selected here.

Year of the Rat Kitchen Bundle

Featuring a variant of their beloved Always Pan, Our Place’s Year of the Rat Bundle ($295) nods to the Chinese New Year and the delicious meals made during the celebration. Included in this four-piece ensemble are the 10,000 Abilities 万能 Always Pan in red, a circular Fair Weather 好云 Platter, an elongated Tip the Scales 龙运 Platter, and a super-handy Eternal Strength 永力 Cleaver. Each was made in China, by local makers when possible. Whether you’re steaming dumplings in the pan’s accompanying bamboo tower or serving noodles on the circular platter, this set covers the bases and beyond.

Black Year of the Rat Bandana

Beautifully made from Japanese fabric, maharishi’s Year of the Rat bandana ($70) features two of the little critters in metal form, climbing on planet Earth. Measuring 55cm by 55cm, the vegetable-dyed piece is made from cupro, a biodegradable by-product of cotton production—making it both more sustainable and kinder to the environment.

Chuck Taylor High-Tops

Available in three colorways, Converse’s 2020 Chinese New Year Chuck Taylor high-tops ($110) are also customizable—with various options for patterns and placement. Our favorite is red on white leather, but we have been playing with various motifs and styles. As always, Chuck Taylors are made for all genders and the classic shape will stay in vogue well beyond the Year of the Rat.

New Year’s Matcha

Super-smooth and highlighted by a delicious full-bodied umami aftertaste, Ippodo’s New Year’s matcha ($28) is available for pre-order now and comes complete with 2020-centric rat-adorned label. Whether made as Usucha (light matcha) or Koicha (thick matcha), the flavor profile is mellow and drinkable—a celebratory treat for matcha experts and rookies alike.

Limited Edition Notebook

Prominently featuring the Chinese Fú character (福) for good luck and good fortune, this limited edition Moleskine notebook ($28) features many nods to Chinese tradition. From the red and gold endpapers to the knot motif, as well as the two enclosed lucky red envelopes, Chinese culture is celebrated here, but beyond that, it’s up to the user as to what goes on the acid-free pages within—be it recipes or sketches, shopping lists, letters or dreams.

Limited Edition Lunar New Year Gift Set

To honor the Lunar New Year, celebrated Speyside brand The Macallan has crafted a new limited edition gift set ($140) that includes two bottles (perhaps one to gift and one to keep) of their Double Cask 12 Years Old single malt scotch whisky. This year’s gift box and label incorporate tradition knot imagery, in red and gold, as well as an illustration of the rat zodiac symbol.

Plush Rat Toy

Made in Bolivia by a team of indigenous women, Oeuf’s plush rat toy ($50) is crafted from 100% baby alpaca yarn, with a poly blend inside. The yarn boasts a natural water-resistance and an ultra-soft touch, so it’s perfect for little ones. It’s also an eco-friendly alternative to cotton or synthetic fabrics. This woven toy is also fair trade, so the women who made it are paid living wages and are treated appropriately.

Pizza Rat Sweatshirt

Perhaps not a traditional Lunar New Year rat, rag & bone’s Pizza Rat sweater ($250) remains, nonetheless, rat-related. The 100% cotton French terry garment features a ribbed collar, cuffs, and hem and the graphic appliqué sweetly celebrates NYC’s iconic pizza-loving vermin.


Images courtesy of respective brands, hero image courtesy of maharishi