10 Facts about Chinese New Year

10 Facts about Chinese New Year

2. February 2021
Chinese New Year

In one week, on 12th February the Chinese New Year will begin. This not only means holidays in China, but also impacts on logistics worldwide. Below we have compiled a few interesting facts about China’s traditional holidays:

  1. Chinese New Year, also called Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is considered the most important traditional celebration  of  the country. However, Lunar New Year is celebrated not only in China, but also in other parts of Asia, such as Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan.
  2. The date of Chinese New Year is based on the first new moon between January 21 and February 21. Thus, it falls on different dates every year. This year it will take place from February 11 to 26. Accordingly, the celebrations last 15 days and traditionally end with the Lantern Festival. Nevertheless,, the official public holidays will last  from February 11 to 17, 2021, and the most intense celebrations are  held on the first four days.
  3. In 2021, after the Year of the Rat, the Year of the Ox begins. In total, there are 12 zodiac signs, which historically follow a precise sequence. There are various legends and stories about the origin of the zodiac signs.
  4. In China, money and wealth have a very high value. Thus, in addition to “happy new year”,  “Gōnghè xīnnián”, the Chinese wish “Gong Xi Fa Cai” to welcome the New Year – which means as much as “I wish you growing wealth”.
  5. Before the holidays, the buying mood is high, but during the holidays, demand flattens out and production stops. As a rule, factories and production facilities are closed during the public holidays, and sometimes beyond. Even if factories reopen early, full production output cannot be expected immediately. Some factories also do not reopen for another month.
  6. The festivities have large  impact on the global logistics chains. Due to the closures of many businesses, companies must be prepared for delays of up to one month.
  7. High freight demand is usually expected before the holidays. Many companies pull forward their orders and the transport of deliveries from China, to ensure they still receive the goods on time. However, this again leads to increased capacity bottlenecks before the holidays.
  8. Just like Christmas, there are also gifts on New Year. A typical gift is the red envelope. This is considered a symbol of good luck and money. Bonuses are often paid out in companies during this period. By the way, many Chinese decide to change jobs after the Chinese New Year and after the bonuses have been paid out. This is another reason why it takes some time for normal operations to resume, after the New Year.
  9. Traditional festivities include many ancient customs. For example, to welcome luck, doors and windows are opened. People also do not cut their hair or buy shoes during the holidays because the Chinese word for shoe is similar to the word for bad luck. Whereas, the word for hair is similar to the Chinese word for prosperity, which of course people do not want to cut off.
  10. Since the New Year is usually accompanied by a large wave of travel, migrant workers have already been called to refrain from traveling home this year. Although China seemed to have the pandemic largely under control, there has been reports of another corona outbreak in Hebei province at the beginning of the year. Consequentially, some residential areas were already sealed off due to fear of a further spread.

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