On 28th of January traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar turns over to a new year. This occasion is also known as Spring Festival, or simply Chinese New Year.
Every year the date of celebrations changes so the beginning of new year falls on the day of full (dark) moon between January 21st and February 20th.
Chinese new year has been celebrated for centuries and to this day remains the single most important traditional festival. It's an important time for families as a full week of public holidays allows them to catch up and recharge. What is more, Chinese believe strongly that a good start of new year will provide them with luck and especially farmers with good harvest.
Each year has its own symbol. It is decided upon 12-year animal zodiac cycle. Last year was the year of Monkey, 2017 is the year of Rooster. If you were born in the year of Rooster (1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017) then that is your zodiac sign.
Rooster years in particular are believed to be unlucky. But, there are things you must/mustn't do to avoid haplessness and unsuccessfulness. These rules apply to the Spring Festival which starts on the eve of January 27th and ends on February 2nd.
- First three days are the most important. Some people believe washing hair at the beginning of new year equals to washing away good luck. For that matter, don't attempt to clean anything in the first three days.
- Spoil the children, because crying kids bring bad luck to families.
- Never ask for a loan!
- Wear red underwear...
When it comes to red colour Chinese are convinced it brings luck. A lot of presents are exchanged during the Spring Festival and one of the most popular customs is gifting children and elders with money in red envelopes. However, they are never given to working adults (only by employers).
Tracy An, our very own Mainland China Sales Rep, says one of the fun ways to get rid of bad luck from the previous year is to light up some fireworks. And even though this is the most festive part of the year, it is truly a Chinese tradition. Therefore, it might not be a good time for travellers and business:
You might have to pay premium for the flights, hotels and other stuff. Most government bureaus will be closed for a least five business days and a lots businesses will be closed for few days as well.
Richard Silver can only confirm this. His trip to Vietnam 15 years ago with his partner, nephew and niece took an unexpected turn. Their trip back home included a two day lay over in Hong Kong, which they didn't complain about, due to the oversold planes.
Our only way home was in Business Class on Cathay Pacific...not a bad thing but a surprise ($10,000) expense, nevertheless.
Our new team member, Rizwan, says it is important to note that the Chinese plan well ahead of this holiday and you should too:
One to two weeks prior to New Years Eve mass production and new orders are halted and they don't resume until as long as two weeks after. Plan ahead!
If you are interested in learning more about Asian culture you might also want to read:
- How I retooled my business to attract Chinese & International Clients
- 16 Tips on Accessing Asian Markets
- The Art of Selling to Asian Buyers
Source: China Highlights