The Chinese calendar follows a sequence of sixty years and is based on both lunar and solar movements. Chinese New Year starts on the first day of the new moon at the beginning of the year. Therefore according to the Gregorian calendar, Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year, somewhere between 21 January and 20 February. The celebrations last fifteen days and end with the Lantern Festival, which is held on the fifteenth night.
Although rats are feared and disliked in many parts of the world, in China it is an honour to be born in the Year of the Rat. In the Chinese horoscope, Rats are seen as leaders who are clever, ambitious and industrious. They are also regarded as sociable, energetic and charming.
The First Day Cover and mini-sheet were designed by Renze Zhou.
Date of Issue: 23 January 2008