The Chinese calendar is a yearly calendar just like the western one and its beginning is based on the cycles of the moon. Hence, the Chinese New Year can fall anywhere between late January and mid-February. In 2007, or the Chinese year 4705, the Chinese New Year is on February 18.
There are three different ways to name a Chinese Year. It is named after an animal or by its formal name using the stem-branch system and by the year that marks the beginning of the reign of Yellow King, the first king of China who was crowned as the king in 2697 B.C. For instance, 2007 is going to mark the 4705th year of the Chinese.
A complete Chinese calendar cycle is of 60 years, having five cycles of twelve years each. And each of these 12 years is named after an animal meaning these names are repeated every twelve year. The Rat marks the first year of the animal cycle while the Pig marks the last.