The Japanese have a custom of sending New Year's Day postcards to their friends and relatives.
They tell others whom they did not often meet that they were alive and well.
The Chinese zodiac signs of the New Year are drawn on the New Year's card in many cases.
The Chinese zodiac has a cycle of 12 years.
Each year is represented by an animal.
The animals are, in order: rat, cow, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and boar.
2008 is the year of the cow.