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.
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 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 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 Wooden Rat and end with Water 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, 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.