Friday, 8 February 2008


2008 Lantern Festival of Year of Rat

Year of The Rat Year 2008 is a Chinese Brown Earth (Soil) Rat Year. Why did the Chinese name the year 2008 as the Brown Earth Rat Year? Chinese calendar used the Stem-Branch system to count the days, months and years. There are 10 Stems and 12 Branches in this system. Stems are named by the Yin-Yang and Five Elements (Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth). The Stem sequence order is Yin-Yang Wood,Fire,Earth,Metal,Water Yang Wood, Yin Wood, Yang Fire, Yin Fire, Yang Earth, Yin Earth, Yang Metal, Yin Metal, Yang Water and Yin Water. Branches use the animal names.

The Branch sequence order is Rat,Cow,Tiger,Rabbit,Dragon,Snake,Horse,Sheep,Monkey,Hen,Dog,Hog Rat, Cow, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Chicken, Dog and Pig. Stem and Branch are used together to form a cycle of 60 counting systems which begin with WoodenRatMale WoodMouseWooden Rat and end with Water Pig WaterPigWater Pig. You can see the entire sequence from the Chinese New Year's page. From 1924 to 1983 is a complete cycle. Year 2008 is Female Earth Rat Earth ,Earth the 25th of the Stem-Branch in the system. Because Earth is equivalent to the color Brown in the Five-Element system, Year 2008 is also called the Brown Rat year.

Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year day is on February 7th, 2008. This day is a new moon day, it is the first day of the first Chinese lunar month in the Chinese Lunar Calendar system. The exact new moon time is at 11:44 on 07-Feb-08 in China time zone.

If we apply Chinese lunar calendar system on the USA time zones, we find something interesting here. In the US Pacific Standard Time (PST), the new moon time is at 19:44 of 2-06-08. In the US Eastern Standard Time (EST), the new moon time is at 22:44 of 2-06-08. Therefore, the Chinese New Year day for USA time zones is on February 6th, 2008.

The new moon time is at 03:44 on 2-07-08 of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and at 04:44 on 2-07-08 of Time Zone GMT+1. That means Chinese New Year day is on February 7th, 2008 for European countries.

The Year 2008 (Brown Rat) is the 4705th Chinese year. The Chinese believe that the first king of China was the Yellow King (he was not the first emperor of China). The Yellow King became king in 2697 B.C., therefore China will enter the 4705th year on February 4th, 2008. Also, the Chinese Year uses the cycle of 60 Stem-Branch counting systems and the Brown Rat is the 25th Stem-Branch in the cycle. Since 4705 = (60 *78) + 25, therefore this Brown Rat Year is the 4705th Chinese Year.

Some web sites say the year 2008 is the 4706th Chinese year. If you cannot find the explanation, here is a possible answer for you: The Yellow King's inauguration was held in the spring of 2697 B.C. But the day that was used as the first day of the year was the winter solstice, which was around December 23rd, 2698 B.C. Today's January 1st meant nothing to the Yellow King. If we count that extra eight days in 2698 B.C., then year 2008 is the 4706th Chinese year.

The First Day of Brown Rat Astrology Year

In China's time zone, the first day of the Brow Rat Year is February 4th, 2008, because February 4th, 2008 is the first day of Tiger month and the Tiger month is the first month of the year in Chinese Fortune-Telling Calendar system.

In the Chinese Fortune-Telling calendar, the first day of the first month, Tiger month, is called "Start of Spring", which is when the sun enters the 315th degree on the tropical zodiac. In the China's time zone, the time of the Start of Spring is at Feb-04 19:00. So the first day of the Brown Rat year 2008 is on 04-Feb-08.

The time of the Start of Spring is on Feb-04 at 06:00 for US EST zone and on Feb-04 at 03:00 for US PST zone. So the first day of Brown Rat Year in USA is same in China's time zone.

People born in late January or early February may be confused about their birth year Chinese astrology animal signs. This is because it is a common misconception that the astrology animal signs begin on the Chinese New Year day. Actually, Astrology animal signs are base on the Start of Spring, the first day of astrology year. For example, if a baby was born on Feb-05 2008 before the Chinese New Year Day, then its animal sign is the Rat because the birthday is after the Start of Spring. If you are still confused about your animal sign, we have an Animal Sign page for people to verify their Chinese birth year animal signs.

Rat is Number One

The sequence of 12 astrology animals is Rat,Cow,Tiger,Rabbit,Dragon,Snake,Horse,Sheep,Monkey,Hen,Dog,Hog. Rat ranks number 1 in the 12 calendar animals. There is a related story for children. Once the God of Heaven wanted to choose 12 animal names as the sequence of the calendar. He announced to hold an animal racing to determine the order. When the racing date is closing, Cat forgot the time and asked Rat the schedule. Alert Rat gave Cat the wrong time on purpose. Smart Rat stayed on the horn of Ox while crossing the river, then jumped over the bank to reach the final line to win the champion. Cat missed the racing time and swear to kill Rat for generations. That's why Cat always chase Rat forever.

The odd number is Yang and the even number is Yin. Therefore, Rat, Tiger, Dragon, Horse Monkey, Dog are Yang (Male) Animals. Cow, Rabbit, Snake, Sheep, Chicken and Pig are Yin (Female) animals. The one saying about the animal sequence is something to do with animal toes and paws.

Tiger, Dragon, Monkey and Dog have five toes or paws. Horse has a single toe. Cow, Rabbit, Sheep, Chicken and Pig have four toes or paws. Snake has no toes, but it has fork-like tongue. Rat has 4-toe in the front legs and 5-toe in the back legs.

Half-Yin and Half-Yang Animal

The front leg of Rat has 4 toes and back leg has 5 toes. The Rat hour is from 23:00 P.M. to 1:00 A.M., which cover late night and early morning. Rat is rank number one, which is Yang (odd) number. But contains Female Water, according to Chinese astrology calendar. Water in Chinese astrology represents cold, black, wisdom and lust.

Rat is a very alert, coward, quick, sly, ambitious and smart animal. Human still learn something from rats. When all rats run away from a building with no reason, we should run and leave the building soon too. Ancient Chinese won't get on a ship without rats, because that's not normal.

Rat is in the Water group. Snake and Horse are in the Fire group. Fire is afraid of Water. They said Horse will die after eating the waste of Rat. Weasel like Rat can fight and kill Snake.

Rat is in Chinese. is derived from the pictographic character . The head is on the top. The body shows the toes and the tail. Sodoesn't mean Rat in Chinese. it just a symbol for the Chinese astrology calendar. It comes from the meaning of the cycle of the year base on Yin and Yang energy on the Earth.


Rat personality traits
People born in the Year of the Rat are one of the most industrious and hardest working in the zodiac.

Forever busy in pursuit of an ambitous personal goal, at times they may become difficult to work with since they are born perfectionists. Rats must ensure that every "i" is dotted before completing an assigned task. As a result, they are often successful financially, and are good providers for their family and those they cherish most dearly.

Loyal and loving, Rat people inspire loyalty in others who are close to them. They are essentially honest individuals and loath to betray a confidence. However, their quick wit and restlessness can sometimes lead to chattiness, and they can often be relied upon at large social gatherings for a good story or a juicy bit of gossip.

Their energy levels and expert organizational talents are such that it is a rare thing to see a Rat person sitting idly by with nothing to do.

They may even sometimes be viewed as opportunists who cajole others into helping them accomplish a great ambition. In their careers, Rat people can find much success as business leaders or politicians.

Rats are most compatible with : Dragon, Monkey, Ox

Famous people born in the Year of the Rat : Charlotte Bronte, Truman Capote, Catherine I, Prince Charles, Sasha Cohen, Eminem, Peter the Great, Mata Hari, Scarlett Johansson, Wolfgang Mozart, Plato, William Shakespeare, Leo Tolstoy, George Washington


(Let's see what it says about my Zodiac .....)

Chinese Fortune-Telling Calendar

The following is your simple birth chart. You are Green Dog, born in the year of Green Dragon. The first character in DAY represents you. We can say you are a Wood Dog, too.
Day (you) Month Year
Male WoodMale WoodMale Wood Female EarthFemale EarthFemale Earth Male WoodMale WoodMale Wood
DogDogGreen Dog SnakeSnakeBrown Snake DragonDragonGreen Dragon

The Five Element Weights and Personality Chart

Personality Kind Polite Trustful Righteous Smart
Five Elements




Weight 21% 15% 56% 6% 1%

People have different Five Element weights in their Birth Chart. Each element implies one kind of personality. The Wood-type personality is kind, the Fire-type personality is polite, the Earth-type personality is trustful, the Metal-type person is righteous and the Water-type personality is smart. Because a person's Birth Chart usually contains five elements, there will always be mixed personalities.

Each element has a good and bad side of personality. If the weight of an element is between 15% and 25%, that implies a good side of personality. If the weight of an element is less than 8% or greater than 30%, that implies a bad side of personality. All other weights imply mixing the good and the bad side of the personality.

This Male Wood-Type person, basically, shows Earth-type personality in the daily life.

56% Earth-Type Personality

People with Earth-type personality are trustful, steady, loyal and responsible. They are honest, religious, reliable, and keep their promises.

The characteristics of Earth are standing still, being slow and steady, and stationary. Therefore the Earth people don't like to move their body and change their mind too often. They are honest, trustworthy, and responsible. They also have good faith. They can sit in one position for a long time. They accept religion since they like rumination and meditation. They are slow to react. They like to collect things, and enjoy their collectables at home, but not outdoors.

People with excess Earth are stubborn, inflexible, cheap, lonely, plain and simple. They cannot keep their word either.

21% Wood-Type Personality

People with Wood-type personality are kind, steady, sympathy-sharing, understanding and gentle. They like to help people and make donations.

The essence of Wood is a tree. The force inside the tree is like growing upward to the sky. Trees often compete with each other aggressively when growing up. Because of the characteristics of trees, Wood-type people are steadfast, organized, logical, practical, innovative, unique, assertive, fortitudinous, independent, challenging and direct. They like to plan things, take action, and go on adventures and challenges. They are perfectionists who tend to push themselves to the limit and seek out the best, and take first place in competition.

When their ambition and optimism is overwhelming, Wood-types can become upset, nervous, unstable, impatient, intolerant, and lose their humor by the frustration of many obstacles.

15% Fire-Type Personality

People with Firer-type personality are courteous, eloquent, polite and expressive. They are good at compliments in speech.

Fire people are energetic, artistic, passionate, easily excitable, and have a tendency to rapidly change emotional states as well as become aggressive. They love sensation, drama and sentiment. They seek joy, gratification and the attention of others. They like to be invited to a party and dislike being alone.

6% Metal-Type Personality

People with Metal-type personality are righteous, faithful, gallant and chivalrous. They like to know and help people.

Metal is the substance in which internal particles squeeze and condense together. There is a force from the outside to the inside that keeps Metal hard. Metal reflects light, so it is shiny. It may have a clear sound when it's hit. Therefore, a Metal-type person has great strength, discipline and enough courage to aid needy people, which may make them famous.

People that lack Metal are quiet, cautious and nervous. They tend to think too much, and cannot make quick decisions. They do not express what is on their minds in public, but will complain about something afterwards.

1% Water-Type Personality

People with Water-type personality are smart, wise, frank, and resourceful. They have good memories and think before they leap.

There are two types of Water: Floating Water and Still Water. Floating Water makes people active and restless and feel like traveling. Still Water makes people clam and peaceful.

People lacking Water are unstable, cowardly, narrow-minded, and have no stamina. They lack intellect, good sense, understanding, and foresight. They also tend to keep changing their mind.

General Information for Male Wood-type people born in Snake Month

The general description about this person is growing, tender, impulsive, confident, reputable, prudent, stubborn and responsible.

One word for people born in this month is sentimental.

This type of person has powerful ambition and great energy for pursuing their goals. They are very active in seeking opportunities. Once they decide that they want to pursue something, they go after it enthusiastically and persistently. These people do not give up or satisfied easily; their expectations are high due to their sensitivity to beauty. They are very impractical in love. They are very sentimental and unable to express their feelings effectively. Their statement is too straightforward. They have a great desire for exclusive possession and strong attachment. In business, they are usually very flexible and ambitious which often lead them to success. They are hardworking, talented and intelligent. They have the ability to observe other people objectively, which helps them develop a good social life and successful future.

1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024

Dragon personality traits
Seemingly born under a lucky star, the dragon is the most vital and powerful of any in the Chinese zodiac, although with an infamous reputation for being a hothead - and possessing a sharp tongue!

At any social gathering, you know a Dragon has entered the room as the air starts to tingle with the energy they exhude. Enthusiastic, and confident sometimes to the point of swaggering, Dragon people inspire confidence in others with their honesty and quick wit.

Natural "movers and shakers", Dragons can sometimes be overbearing to lesser mortals who do not share the their natural self-perception as absolute rulers of all they survey. However, their great popularity stems from a soft and sensitive heart, which the Dragon only reveals to trusted friends and loved ones who delight in their tender concern.

Not shy in the least about going after what they want, Dragons can be their own worst enemies - aggressive to the point of tyrannical, and may be heard running off at the mouth without thinking.

However, after having made a foolhardy decision, Dragon people often recover quickly and admirably continue on to follow their hearts' desire with dauntless determination. Gifted with innate courage, tenacity and intelligence, those born under this sign are most often a shining success at whatever field they choose.

Dragons are most compatible with : Rat, Snake, Monkey, Rooster

Famous people born in the Year of the Dragon: Susan B. Anthony, Joan of Arc, Orlando Bloom, Sigmund Freud, John Lennon, Florence Nightingale, Keanu Reeves, Ronaldo, Mae West.

Analyze Your Five Elements in Year 2008

You were born on x/xx/19xx, which was a Green Wood Dog Day. The Day Mater is Wood, therefore you are a Wood-type person.

Year 2008 is a year of Brown Earth Rat. The major elements in this year are Earth and Water.

Earth is your Money Star. When the Money Star appears in your cycle, you will earn or borrow more money to place in your pocket. You like to eat better food and enjoy the material life. You still have chance to lose money, because you might have to spend money to help senior relatives. You will think or worry about elder relatives, who may have relations with you. You might tend to disobey your parents, teachers or boss and keep the distance from them during this period. While you are in school, you might dislike memorizing your homework and make no progress in your learning. If you are a guy, this is the time for dating.

When will these events happen? Earth starts in June (Earth Horse) 2008....

Water is your Parent Star. When the Parent Star appears in your cycle, you will feel too much restrain from parents, teachers or boss, because you will get their attention. You might have opportunity to become close to the wise, sophisticated people or learn something from them, even in religion area. You become more conservative, patient and gain endurance. Sometimes, you lack of some confidence, cannot express your opinions well like before and then damage your fame or reputation. You might have to stay with parents or close to them often. If you are in school or doing the research, you will learn useful knowledge during this period. You should pay attention to your health as well, because you might have to take medicine for your body. So you need more exercise and outdoor activities.

When will these events happen? Rat starts in November (Water Pig) 2008 or December (Wood Rat) 2008....

Me says: All these things were downloaded from the internet. Maybe I'll check out the Indian version and probably even those of other cultures later.
Very interesting, but I just can't make head or tail of it all .....
Though I like to read and listen to all this mumbo-jumbo (just as much as I like reading about religion, philosophy, history, politics, medicine and what not), I seriously doubt that I actually give a rat's @$$ about it!
Whatever it stands for, I just like to welcome it, nevertheless.

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