Everybody wants to be a rat

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I just wanted to wish a Happy Chinese New Year to everybody out there, as today is the start of the best year in Chinese astrology (in my completely unbiased opinion) - the Year of the Rat. Anyone lucky enough to be born in the Year of the Rat like myself will appreciate that we are charming, quick witted and generally fantastic people. So now that it's our year I think that's something to celebrate.

If you're in town at the weekend for the festivities you can see some Martial Arts demonstrations at World Museum Liverpool on Saturday or make colourful Chinese dragons, lanterns or fans in workshops at the Maritime Museum on Sunday - check out the What's on listings for further details.

I haven't got a picture of a Chinese rat from our collections, so instead here's a piece of 19th century netsuke which does at least demonstrate the sociable nature of us rats. Sharp eyed visitors to the Magical History Tour exhibition may also spot some hidden amongst the displays in a trail for children (don't worry, they are soft toys, not real rats...)

ivory carved in the shape of a bundle of rats