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 China released stamps to commemorate the "Year of the R

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PostSubject: China released stamps to commemorate the "Year of the R   Sun Jan 06, 2008 11:28 am

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Please note ... I am not following, nor enforcing these ideas ...
I find it very interesting ... that's all ... no more no less ...
=============================================


China released a special set of stamps to
commemorate the "Year of the Rat"


A release ceremony for a special set of stamps to commemorate the
"Year of the Rat" was held in Changshun County in southwest China's
Guizhou Province on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)

BEIJING, Jan. 6 -- China released a special set of stamps to commemorate
the "Year of the Rat," according to the Chinese lunar calendar, Xinhua News
Agency reported.

A release ceremony was held in Changshun County in southwest China's
Guizhou Province, as the Shuchang post office there is the only one that
contains the Chinese character for "mouse" in its name. Many people rushed
to the county to obtain the rat indicia, which only can be postmarked in
Changshun.

Each set contains one stamp, which has a face value of 1.2 yuan, or
approximately 16 U.S. cents.

A colorfully clothed rat is depicted on the stamp, which celebrates the
beginning of the new year.

It is the first stamp China Post has issued in 2008.

Collectors lined up in post offices across the country to purchase the
stamps, which are the fifth set in China's third collection of zodiac stamps.

(Source: CRIENGLISH. com)


A staff member shows two postcards with special mouse pictures and
stamps in celebration of the "Year of the Rat" in east China's Shangdong
Province on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)
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PostSubject: Chinese Astrology - RAT   Sun Jan 06, 2008 11:59 am



Though the Western rat is reviled as little more than a bottom-dwelling disease carrier, this animal is
viewed much differently in the East. The Eastern rat is revered for its quick wits and its ability to
accrue and hold on to items of value; rats are considered a symbol of good luck and wealth in both
China and Japan. Clever and quick-witted, the Rat of the Chinese Zodiac is utterly disarming to
boot. Possessed of excellent taste, this Sign flaunts its style at every turn. Its natural charm and
sharp, funny demeanor make it an appealing friend for almost anyone. The Rat likes to know who is
on its side and will treat its most loyal friends with an extra measure of protection and generosity.

Behind that sweet smile, though, Rats are keen and unapologetic promoters of their own agendas.
This Sign is motivated by its own interests, which often include money; greed can become a
problem if the Rat isn't careful to keep its priorities straight. This Sign's natural powers of charm and
persuasion can definitely come in handy! Although they are often hoarders, Rats can be very
generous to those in their pack, namely friends and family members who have proven their loyalty.
Others might perceive them as quick-tempered and sharp-tongued, but never boorish. Verbal
jousting is a great pleasure for the Rat, a Sign that everyone around will quickly learn either to love
or to hate.

Rats enjoy being on the outside looking in, as the outside affords a view into the inner workings of a
system or situation. The Rat's keen mind always seeks out new knowledge, to be stored away for
future use. This ever-curious Sign also welcomes challenges as a way to stay sharp. If boredom
sets in the Rat is no fun at all, but that isn't likely; this Sign knows how to keep itself entertained.

A valuable lesson for Rats is to learn to consider others above themselves, at least sometimes. If
they can develop their sense of self and realize it leaves room for others in their life as well, Rats
could find true happiness.

The most compatible match for a Rat is the Dragon or the Monkey.


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PostSubject: Chinese Astrology - OX   Sun Jan 06, 2008 12:06 pm



The Ox of Chinese Astrology is no bull in a china shop. Steadfast and solid, this powerful Sign is a
born leader, being quite dependable and possessing an innate ability to achieve great things. Oxen
tend to be plodding and methodical; they approach projects in the step-by-step manner that serves
them best, and they never lose sight of their goal. They are tireless workers who are detail-oriented
and believe in doing things right the first time.

The world may perceive Oxen as being far too serious or incapable of loosening up. This sturdy sort
is less than social by nature and tends to become introverted in a crowd.

To make things worse, they can't be bothered with what other people think and prefer to do what
makes them feel best. Behind that calm facade, though, lives an Ox who can feel hurt, lonely and
unable to connect with others. Friends and family are a great source of comfort to this beast, even
if they don't always understand what makes the Ox tick. As a lover, friend, family member or
housemate, the Ox makes a wonderfully strong, tender and affectionate companion who is
protective and always reliable.

Out in the world, though, Oxen tend to be stubborn, dogmatic, my-way-or-the-highway kind of
people who have no concept of when to back down. Oxen don't care to be pushed, especially since
they think they're the good guys of the Chinese Zodiac. There is some truth to that theory, since
the Ox is smart, trustworthy, caring and honorable. If you need honest, steady and unbiased
advice, call on the Ox.

A good lesson for mighty Oxen is to strive to overcome a judgmental nature that keeps them from
getting close to others. If they can learn to value their own good qualities, they'll have more room in
their hearts to invite others in.

The most compatible match for an Ox is the Snake or the Rooster.


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PostSubject: Chinese Astrology - TIGER   Sun Jan 06, 2008 12:10 pm



Tigers may not be the king of the jungle, but these striped cats are no softies! Magnetic and
self-possessed, Tigers are born leaders. They have an air of authority that prompts others to fall in
line, which is exactly how they like it. Although they are magnetically charming and fun to be
around, Tigers like to go it alone sometimes too. A Tiger's main interest is in following its ambitions
-- and maintaining control.

Tigers are courageous beyond compare and generally come out ahead in battle, be it in the
boardroom or the bedroom. Seduction is one area where the Tiger is definitely king! Noble and
warm-hearted, Tigers have a natural, raw appeal that's extremely attractive to other Signs. They're
not just about attraction, though; ever on the side of right, Tigers will fight the good fight to the
bitter end if the cause is worthy. Opponents are wise to fear this feline.

A bit of caution is a good thing around Tigers, since they can pounce without warning. They
experience mood swings and often feel things more intensely than others, the latter quality being
both good and bad. They can react poorly under stress and are prone to emotional outbursts. This
Sign's bristling sensitivity can send friend and foe running for cover.

A lesson that Tigers would be well-served to learn is moderation in all things. Once these cats can
find their center and direct their considerable energies toward worthwhile endeavors (as opposed to
racing through life), they will accomplish much.

The most compatible match for a Tiger is the Horse or the Dog.
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PostSubject: Chinese Astrology - RABBIT   Sun Jan 06, 2008 12:26 pm



Timid and attractive, the Rabbits of the Chinese Zodiac tend to act more like bunnies, whether they
like it or not! This Sign is extremely popular and has a wide circle of family and friends. Its
compassionate nature leads it to be very protective of those it holds dear, but where romance is
concerned, the Rabbit's sentimentality can lead it to idealize relationships. The sweet, sensitive
Rabbit often ends up giving more of itself to a partner than is realistic or healthy. The good news is,
when this Sign goes off-balance, the Rabbit's core group of friends and its stable home life help
bring it back to center.

The Rabbit is a rather delicate Sign that needs a solid base in order to thrive. Lacking close,
supportive friends and family, the Rabbit might just break down in tears at the first sign of conflict.
Emotional upsets in this Sign's life can even lead to physical illnesses. Rabbits dislike arguments and
other conflict and will try anything to avoid a fight; this results in something of a pushover nature.
Rabbits can also lapse into pessimism and may seem stuck in life -- often to mask their insecure
natures. Rabbits tend to move through life's lessons at their own, rather contemplative pace; it's a
waste of time to become exasperated with this Sign's seeming disinterest in facing its problems and
conquering them.

With the right partner -- meaning someone whose high principles won't allow it to take advantage of
this sensitive, giving Sign -- the Rabbit can make an incredibly loving and protective partner or
family member. Rabbits love to entertain at home and always make sure their house is comfortable
and tastefully-furnished. What Rabbits need most is a stronger sense of self-worth and the security
that comes with it. Their discerning natures, coupled with some hard-won assertiveness, will help
these happy creatures go far.

The most compatible match for a Rabbit is the Sheep or the Pig.
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PostSubject: Chinese Astrology - DRAGON   Sun Jan 06, 2008 12:30 pm



The Dragon is one of the most powerful and lucky Signs of the Chinese Zodiac. Its warm heart
makes the Dragon's brash, fiery energy far more palatable. This is a giving, intelligent and tenacious
Sign that knows exactly what it wants and is determined to get it. Dragons possess a certain
natural, charming charisma that ensures they can always influence their peers and often find
themselves the center of attention in social situations. This Sign is truly blessed, too; Dragons are
considered to be very lucky in love! The Dragon's friends are always keen to hear what this
firebrand has to say and when it comes to dispensing advice, the Dragon has the floor.

Its ego can get in the Dragon's way, but even so, this larger-than-life creature has a knack for
initiating projects and keeping the troops motivated. According to Dragons, it's their natural born
right to lead the way -- because who else could do it so surely and so well? As lucky as they are,
Dragons have a good chance of achieving considerable material wealth during their lifetimes,
although it isn't mere money that's this Sign's main motivation. Power is what the Dragon wants and
truly believes it deserves. Dragons are quite the opportunists, forever searching for ways in which
to consolidate their considerable power. Contrary to all this strength and fire, a weakened Dragon is
a sad sack, a creature that refuses to take defeat with even a modicum of grace.

The role of leader is the only one the Dragon wants, the better from which to give orders and be
king of the hill. They make solid leaders, too, knowing instinctively what needs to be done to stay
on top. Crossing the Dragon is never a good idea -- this beast can singe! A valuable life lesson for
this clever creature would be to absorb the principles of flexibility, compassion and tolerance. Being
high and mighty can serve to inspire others, but it also keeps Dragons from living their lives to the
fullest. If Dragons can learn to balance their quest for success with an appreciation for the little
things, their life will be more than worthwhile.

The most compatible match for a Dragon is the Monkey or the Rat.
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PostSubject: Chinese Astrology - SNAKE   Sun Jan 06, 2008 12:36 pm



Diplomatic and popular, the Snake has the sensual art of seduction down. This Sign is an interesting
mix of gregariousness paired with introversion, intuitive reasoning paired with savvy business skills.
Snakes are considered to be lucky with money and will generally have more than enough to live life
to the fullest, regardless of how important it considers money to be; this may be due to the fact
that Snakes tend to be rather tight with cash. They're not stingy, they're simply more mentally than
physically active. Snakes tend to hang back a bit in order to analyze a situation before jumping into
it. Their charming, seductive quality actually belies a rather retiring nature; this Sign is perfectly
happy to spend the whole day curled up with a good book and, thus, can be mislabeled as being
lazy.

The Snake is somewhat insecure deep down and tend to be a rather jealous, possessive lover,
behavior that can end up alienating loved ones. Despite these less-than-stellar tendencies,
however, the Snake often proves irresistible and is a generous, loving partner. Slightly dangerous
and disarmingly smart, the Snake's philosophical and intuitive mind generally supersedes logic in
favor of feelings and instinct. Snakes will rely on their own gut reactions and intuitions before
turning to others for suggestions. This makes this Sign a great hand in any business venture,
possessing the caution and smarts needed to get ahead.

Snakes are hard workers (when they see good reason to be!) and are possessed of a keen
intelligence. Snakes have incredible follow-through, once they get going, and they expect the same
from others. Thus, their coworkers and employees had best stay on their toes, lest they anger the
Snake and suffer its poisonous bite!

In general, of course, Snakes are generous and genteel, charming and appealing. Snakes must try to
learn humility and to develop a stronger sense of self. Once Snakes realize that confidence comes
from within, they will finally be comfortable in their own skin.

The most compatible match for a Snake is the Rooster or the Ox.
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PostSubject: Chinese Astrology - HORSE   Sun Jan 06, 2008 12:41 pm



Thank goodness for open spaces, because the Horse needs plenty of room to roam! Energetic, good
with money and very fond of travel, Horses are the nomads of the Chinese Zodiac, roaming from one
place or project to the next. All of this Sign's incessant activity and searching may be to satisfy a
deep-rooted desire to fit in. Paradoxically, Horses feel a simultaneous yearning for independence and
freedom.

Horses crave love and intimacy, which is a double-edged sword since it often leads them to feel
trapped. Love connections tend to come easily to Horses, since they exude the kind of raw sex
appeal that is a magnet to others. This Sign tends to come on very strong in the beginning of the
relationship, having an almost innate sense of romance and seduction. Horses are seducers in
general; check out any A-list party and you're bound to find the Horse in attendance. This Sign
possesses a sharp wit and a scintillating presence; it really knows how to work a crowd.
Surprisingly, Horses tend to feel a bit inferior to their peers, a misconception that causes them to
drift from group to group out of an irrational fear of being exposed as a fraud.

An impatient streak can lead Horses to be less than sensitive to others' needs. These colts would
rather take a situation firmly in hand as opposed to waiting for others to weigh in or come to terms
with it. The lone wolf inside the Horse can at times push others away, but this also makes this Sign
stronger and is a key to its success. Horses are self-reliant and, though they might lose interest
fast in a tedious, nine-to-five day job, are willing to do the work necessary to get ahead.

Horses tend not to look much at the big picture; instead they just follow their whims, which can
result in a trail of prematurely ended relationships, jobs, projects and so on. This Sign really knows
how to motivate others, though, and get a lot accomplished. Once they find some peace within
themselves, they can curb their wandering tendencies and learn to appreciate what's in their own
backyard.

The most compatible match for a Horse is the Dog or the Tiger.
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PostSubject: Chinese Astrology - SHEEP   Sun Jan 06, 2008 1:02 pm



Daydreaming all afternoon sounds heavenly to the Sheep. This creative, esoteric Sign needs plenty
of time alone in which to feed its Muse. Sheep are generally most comfortable in their own minds
(which other, more linear-thinking Signs may have trouble deciphering). This Sign makes a great
craftsperson or artisan, or perhaps a teacher of New Age studies -- any occupation that allows its
mind the full range of freedom. Sheep tend not to be very well-organized, precluding many more dry
business endeavors. In fact, Sheep tend not to be very materialistic in general, finding plenty of
riches in their own imagination. However, especially when in love, the Sheep can be quite a lavish
gift-giver.

Perhaps it's that artistic temperament that so often causes Sheep to feel insecure, but the result is
that these high-strung creatures need to feel loved and admired lest they start worrying
incessantly. For this reason, Sheep tend to have a hard time with romance; anyone who couples up
with a Sheep must know, this Sign has a sensitive streak a mile wide and can be subject to bouts of
anxiety over seemingly inconsequential things. Sheep need plenty of love, support and open
reassurance from their lovers. If a relationship is marked by conflict, the Sheep will often pull away
-- either physically or simply by retreating into the safe haven of its imagination.

If the romance is going well, however, Sheep won't hesitate to tell their partner what they need --
and they can be quite insistent about it! This Sign will definitely return the favor, however; the
Sheep has a luxurious side that delights in indulging a lover's every wish. Appearances are also
important to the Sheep, which may explain why these folks can spend hours primping and posing.

Sheep would be well-served by learning to relax and let others run the show from time to time. Once
they can be certain that their friends and lovers won't be gone when the Sheep returns from its
daydreams, life will be a field of daisies.

The most compatible match for a Sheep is the Pig or the Rabbit.
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PostSubject: Chinese Astrology - MONKEY   Sun Jan 06, 2008 1:07 pm



The spunky Monkey is the original party animal! Charming and energetic, Monkeys crave fun, activity
and stimulation. They truly know how to have a good time and can often be seen swinging from one
group of friends to another, attracting a motley crew in the process. Always upbeat, they are
considered minor celebrities in their circle thanks to their sparkling wit and that rapier-sharp mind.
Perhaps surprisingly, Monkeys are also good listeners and tackle complicated situations with ease.
This Sign's natural curiosity lends it the desire to become knowledgeable on a broad range of topics.
Monkeys have a show-off side that loves nothing more than to dazzle their pals with all they know.

The Monkey tends to be rather accident-prone due to a certain lack of very high morals. This Sign's
first interest is pursuing its own pleasure; this is not a malicious interest, it's just the way the
Monkey is. However, this kind of carefree self-involvement can lead to all kinds of scrapes. In love,
the Monkey makes a fun, exciting lover -- but one that may have the potential to stray
romantically. The good news is, the Monkey’s glib manner and witty repartee can often get this Sign
out of a scrape. Perhaps not everyone will be won over by the Monkey -- but do you think the
Monkey really cares? The Monkey's world, full of devil-may-care energy and revelry, isn't for
everyone. Remember, though, it's not that this Sign is mean; it might just be a bit too curious for its
own good. Monkeys often feel the need to try everything at least once, which can make for a
merry-go-round of relationships.

The Monkey's love of self-indulgence can also lead to other types of trouble. This Sign may have
limited self-control concerning food, alcohol and other pleasurable activities. It's party time all the
time for the Monkey, yet when it leads to a monster hangover or a shattered heart (generally
someone else's, not theirs), this Sign might actually show a touch of remorse. They won't flat-out
admit the error of their ways, but at least they'll pull back and try to tone things down -- for a
while.

Monkeys must try to learn to think of others ahead of themselves, at least some of the time. This
Sign's world will be more complete once it realizes the world doesn't revolve around it.

The most compatible match for a Monkey is the Rat or the Dragon.
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PostSubject: Chinese Astrology - ROOSTER   Sun Jan 06, 2008 1:13 pm



The Rooster is the strutting peacock of the Chinese Zodiac! These quick thinkers are practical and
resourceful, preferring to stick to what is tried and true rather than taking messy, unnecessary
risks. Roosters are keenly observant. It's hard to slip anything past a Rooster, since they seem to
have eyes in the backs of their heads! This quality can lead others to think the Rooster is psychic,
but that's not generally the case; instead, this Sign enjoys a keen attention to detail that makes it
a whiz at anything requiring close analysis. Roosters make great lawyers, brain surgeons and
accountants, to name a few of this Sign's possible occupations. Above all else, the Rooster is very
straightforward and rewards others' honesty in kind.

Roosters aren't shifty or cagey and have no interest in hiding behind a facade. They are the
proverbial open book, telling the truth and keeping their word. If you show your hand, the Rooster
will respect you for it. This kind of trusting behavior can tempt tricksters to pull a fast one on the
Rooster, but that would be a bad move! Remember, this Sign doesn't indulge in flights of fancy and
keeps those eyes wide open at all times.

Roosters tend to be perfectionists and expect to be in control, especially over their appearance.
Primping and posing for the Rooster can go on forever! Being noticed and admired is an aphrodisiac
for Roosters, and they can go a long time on a few kind words. Roosters also adore being out on the
town, especially if they're in the company of adoring friends. The Rooster will also be the
best-dressed one of the bunch -- style counts with this Sign, regardless of the cost.

Roosters also expect to be in control of their surroundings, including whoever happens to be in
those surroundings. Roosters keep an impeccably neat house and expect their lovers, housemates
and family members to maintain the same high standards of dress and conduct as they do. This can
cause problems with other, more relaxed types who just want to be accepted as is. The Rooster
needs the right partner, one who understands this Sign's basically conservative nature. With the
right person, the Rooster can be the most loyal, trusting and supportive mate around, one who
bends over backward to please its loved ones. Some Signs may just end up feeling hen-pecked,
however.

Roosters need to learn to value their heart and soul as much as their good looks. Their excellent
people skills and sharp minds are qualities that others will appreciate as much as a pretty face. This
Sign would also do well to learn to adopt the philosophy of live and let live; perhaps an appeal to
the Rooster's logic -- that it's inefficient to waste time nagging others -- will help this Sign learn to
let others be whomever and however they are.

The most compatible match for a Rooster is the Ox or the Snake.
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PostSubject: Chinese Astrology - DOG   Sun Jan 06, 2008 1:18 pm



In the West, the Dog is man's best friend, but in Chinese Astrology this Sign is a little more
unpredictable than that. Dogs are loyal, faithful and honest and always stick to their firm codes of
ethics. However, this Sign has trouble trusting others. It's generally quite trustworthy itself --
except for the occasional little white lies the Dog tells in order to make things go more smoothly.
The Dog makes a wonderful, discreet and loyal friend (despite any white lies) and is an excellent
listener. This Sign tends to root for the underdog and its keen sense of right and wrong makes it
duty-bound to the core. The Dog's mantra seems to be, Live right, look out for the little people and
fight injustice whenever possible.

Dogs can also be rather dogmatic, too. They don't go in for light social banter; instead, they go
straight for home, expostulating on the topics that are most important to them. At these times the
Dog's narrow-minded or stubborn side can become apparent; this Sign has trouble staying light and
calm when an important issue is at stake. This Sign can also be very temperamental; mood swings
characterize its emotional life and often the Dog needs to run off to be alone in order to recuperate.
Part of the problem is the result of this Sign's load of irrational fears that turn into niggling anxieties
that turn into hurt feelings and occasional grouchiness. This sensitive Sign needs to warm up to
others over time and gradually learn to trust them. Without that trust as a foundation, Dogs can be
judgmental and coarse.

The Dog's discerning nature does make it an excellent business person, one who can turn that
picky, guarded nature into a keen sense of the truth of another's motives. Where love is concerned,
Dogs often have a tough time finding the right match. They can be so anxious and overwrought in
the romance dance that they'll stress their partner to the max! In any forum, this Sign is happiest
when able to be quite physically active; at home or at work, the Dog will always be constructing
something new or cleaning something up in order to make things better. Dogs need to work on
controlling their irrational worries and would also be well-served to relax their mile-high standards,
which can sometimes wind up alienating the ones they love.

The most compatible match for a Dog is the Tiger or the Horse.
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PostSubject: Chinese Astrology - PIG   Sun Jan 06, 2008 1:22 pm



Contrary to its rather negative reputation in the West, the Pig of Chinese Astrology may be the
most generous and honorable Sign of the Zodiac. Pigs are nice to a fault and possess impeccable
manners and taste. They have so much of the perfectionist in them that others may be inclined to
perceive them as snobs, but this is a misconception. Pigs are simply possessed of a truly luxurious
nature, one that delights in finery and riches (in surroundings, food, lovemaking and otherwise). This
Sign believes in the best qualities of mankind and certainly doesn't consider itself to be superior.
Pigs also care a great deal about friends and family and work hard to keep everyone in their life
happy. Helping others is a true pleasure for the Pig, who feels best when everyone else is smiling.

A Pig with no one around to appreciate its giving nature is a sad sight. Pigs are so magnanimous
they can appear almost saintly; this can lead some less-than-well-intentioned souls to stomp all
over this Sign, and the bad news is, the Pig will take the blows! Pigs make great companions in part
because of their refusal to see the more negative or base qualities in a partner, but that
rose-colored view can lead to this Sign's allowing itself to be taken advantage of. Contrary to their
seemingly benign dispositions, however, Pigs can be quite venomous in response to being crossed by
a lover, friend or business partner.

Pigs are highly intelligent creatures, forever studying, playing and probing in their quest for greater
knowledge. They can be misinterpreted as being lazy, however, due to their love of reveling in the
good stuff; this Sign could happily spend hours on end making love, napping, taking a long bubble
bath or dallying over an incredible spread of rich foods. Pigs tend to make wonderful life partners
due to their hearts of gold and their love of family. Even so, Pigs can be rather exclusive,
choosing to spend time with those who will appreciate them most and ignore the rest of the
populace. Pigs would do well to realize that there's more to life than being needed. When they open
up their world to a diverse group of people, they will truly bloom.

The most compatible match for a Pig is the Rabbit or the Sheep.
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PostSubject: Re: China released stamps to commemorate the "Year of the R   Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:29 am

Residents of Beijing select red-coloured New Year
decorations to welcome the Chinese year of the rat.
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PostSubject: Re: China released stamps to commemorate the "Year of the R   Tue Jan 08, 2008 3:04 pm

mmm , weet nie of hule so mooi reg is om te celebrate nie ... maar, die wat weet sę dat die Rat bring voorspoed ... seker die dat katte so hard probeer om hulle te vang ... scratch
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PostSubject: Re: China released stamps to commemorate the "Year of the R   Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:28 am

A poster shows Mickey Mouse in traditional Chinese costume
at Hong Kong Disneyland where the Year of the Rat has been
dubbed the Year of the Mouse.
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PostSubject: Radish Dim Sum   Fri Jan 25, 2008 6:22 am

Children have been learning how to make radish dim sum in the
shape of a mouse to celebrate the Chinese Lunar Year in Hong Kong.



A worker at a temple in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, prepares for
the Chinese Year of the Rat by hanging lanterns.

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Number of posts : 1056
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PostSubject: Year of the Rat - 7 February (New Lunar Year)   Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:08 am

A rodent, representing the forthcoming Chinese Year of the Rat,
sits in a maze in a Hong Kong window display.
The Lunar New Year is on 7 February.


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PostSubject: Re: China released stamps to commemorate the "Year of the R   Today at 11:22 pm

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