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鼠年快乐 Shǔnián Kuàilè

Happy Year of the Rat! (2008)

February 7, 2008 began 鼠年 shǔnián, year of the rat (or mouse or rodent). (The previous year was pig; the next, ox.)

鼠年 is the first year in the 12-year cycle. It corresponds to 子 zǐ, the first of the 12 地支 dìzhī earthly branches (子丑寅卯辰巳午未申酉戌亥).

In the 60-year cycle, 2008 is 戊子 wùzǐ, the 25th year. (The current cycle started in 1984, 甲子 jiǎzǐ.) 戊 wù is the fifth of the 10 天干 tiāngān heavenly stems (甲乙丙丁戊己庚辛壬癸), and is associated with earth (土 tǔ). Therefore 2008 can be called the year of the earth rat.

Other years of the rat include: 2020, 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948, 1936, 1924, 1912, 1900.

See the whole 12-year cycle!