Year of the MouseNEW YORK, Feb 7, 2008 / FW/ — Chinese New Year is today, year 4706 in the Chinese calendar. And Vivienne Tam is celebrating it with Disneyland Hong Kong by outfitting the park’s mascots Mickey and Minnie in a bright red Mao suit and in a cherry blossom dress, respectively.

As part of Vivienne Tam’s collaboration with Disneyland Hong Kong, the New York-based designer also created a nine-piece, black and red Minnie and Mickey inspired collections that will be available in all Vivienne Tam freestanding stores late spring.

Like Greek mythology on the zodiac, the Chinese also has 12 main characters. But, instead of gods, they are animals. Another difference is that the Greeks divided the 12 zodiacs within one year, while the Chinese zodiac encompass one year. The Year of the Rat is the beginning of a new cycle, i.e., the rat is the first in the 12-year cycle.

According to Chinese astrology, the rat symbolizes new opportunities in personal finance and romance. Translated into today’s terms, it will be a good year to change jobs or get married. In short, the Chinese view the Year of the Rat as a time for positive change.