Friday, February 25, 2011

Significance of rats in cultures of the world


Lord Ganesh, riding on a rat
In India, rats are revered as instruments of Lord Ganesh. Rats residing in the Karni Mata Temple (popularly known as ‘the Rat Temple’) are well taken care of by the priests and pilgrims.





It is said that eating food that had been touched by the rats are considered blessings from God.

The Rat Temple in India







In Chinese culture, they occupy the first place in the zodiac. Those born under this sign are attributed the qualities of a rat: intelligent and creative. White rats are considered good luck. 









The ancient Romans considered them as good omen; white rats, to the Romans, were especially auspicious.

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In old Japan, a white rat was a messenger from Daikoku (one of the seven gods of luck).

Rat statue from Meiji Period, dating 1900.





Rats are prohibited as food in the Bible.


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They were worshipped by ancient Mayans and Egyptians.





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Bibliography
The Rams Horn (2002) Rat history. Retrieved February 15, 2011 from http://www.ramshornstudio.com/rat_history.htm
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