This year is the Year of the Rat! (Actually the Chinese New Year isn't until February). Other "Rat Years" - 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2030. It is said people born in the Year of the Rat are noted for their charm and attraction for the opposite sex. They work hard to achieve their goals, acquire possessions, and are likely to be perfectionists. They are basically thrifty with money. Rat people are easily angered and love to gossip. Their ambitions are big, and they are usually very successful. They are most compatible with people born in the years of the Dragon, Monkey, and Ox. Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest. In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.
We were able to take a day...but it was fun. I introduced Maddie to the typical Rose Bowl Parade watching in my home town of Pasadena (http://www.ci.pasadena.ca.us/). She was somewhat enthralled with many of the Chinese floats seen in preparation for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. (http://travel.webshots.com/album/562179639jUEFvc).
We hope all have a Happy New Year.