The Year of the Rat begins Thursday, February 7th, 2008 (lunar 1/1)
If you are hosting a party, going into the schools, or planning on getting new red clothes, you may want to really start thinking about it.
12/20 lunar (January 29?, 2008) should be set aside for the annual housecleaning and 3 days later on February 1st, the kitchen god will be going up to report. You can (and perhaps should) get your hair cut now or then - but not during the first two weeks of the New Year. Most of the year, my lunar calendar is beautiful, but now I need to refer to it (Email me for one).
February 21st ‘should’ find you preparing for the Lantern festival, which begins on the 15th night, which is 2/22 this year.
The two week period of Chinese New Year includes Valentine’s Day this year, so there will be lots of red around. However, if you plan on ‘teaching’ the holiday or going into the schools, keep in mind that is often a big event for them, and not every teacher can support two or three parties in two weeks!