The Chinese New Year is the most important holiday for all the Chinese in the world. Unlike in the West, where the Gregorian calendar rules, China and other Asian countries, such as Korea, Japan or Vietnam, use the lunar calendar, whose end of the year oscillates between the end of January and the middle of February.
Why is Chinese new year important?
This ancient custom is governed by an astrological almanac that, having its origin in the lunar calendar, causes the first day of each year to always vary between the end of January and mid-February and also receives the name of the Feast of the spring. According to this lunar calendar, the six decades that make up its century are divided into cycles of twelve years, each of which is represented by an animal that determines the personality of those born under its sign.
This year, February 19 will mark the beginning of Year of the Goat. According to legend, Huang Di, the Yellow Emperor, named an animal to represent each year in the twelve-year cycle. Thus, the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig were included. The Chinese symbol Yáng generally refers to a goat, sheep or ram. It is considered a symbol of good omen, good luck and peace. Since ancient times, people have used Yáng to symbolize a good nature.
It is a period full of celebrations, which starts on New Year’s Day and ends with the Lantern Festival, the fifteenth day of the first month. There are visits to relatives, special meals and fireworks. Everyone celebrates it, especially during the first three days of the festival. There are many traditions and customs related to the Chinese New Year. Families clean their homes thoroughly in order to sweep away any bad fortune and make way for good luck. The windows and doors are decorated with delicate cuts of red paper and poetic verses with even lines in the poetry, to express the joy of the people and their hope in the new year. Fireworks, firecrackers, red packets, lion and dragon dances, lanterns with riddles, are customs and traditions that are observed during the period of the Chinese New Year. Many families come together offering dinners with large gatherings and, also,
Like the solar new year, the Chinese New Year represents a time of reflection, of resolutions, of hope for the year that begins. The Chinese congratulate the new year by intoning the now classic “gong xi fa cai” (“I wish you a lot of money”) and distributing red envelopes (“hongbao”) to children and family members. These are filled with bills whose amount, to give good luck, must always be even. Only number four is excluded, since it is associated with death (both words have a similar pronunciation in Mandarin). All this fixation by numbers shows that the Chinese are one of the most superstitious people on the planet.
When you work with a country like China, as it is our case, it is important to know how these holidays affect the normal development of the operations that we have in hand and those purchases and orders that are about to close. The country with the most factories in the world for machines for almost a month. Some factories do it one week before New Year’s Day and others do it two weeks before. In theory, the only week of vacation would be next to New Year’s Day, but the reality is that the effective workforce, workers, operators, those who physically move the industry, will not be in their jobs during all one month. This is something that all importers must keep in mind to plan very well deadlines and execution times in order to have the product that we want in destination on time, without delays. For almost a month we must know that our production will be paralyzed. Even so, work with China does not stop completely.
And what do hundreds of millions of Chinese people do this holiday? They go to their villages in search of their families of origin. The largest exodus in the world occurs (70 million journeys a day for almost a month). The members of the families that live outside do a great effort to be able to be, at the latest, the eve of the new year with their loved ones. The big industrial cities like Guangzhou, where we are, remain empty and calm, like Madrid in August.
And while millions of Chinese gather to celebrate the new year, in Asia it is easy the activity does not stop. On both sides of the continent we continue to manage projects, closing operations. Still do not know our easies?
The most important dates for the Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year: Family reunion day
Chinese Calendar: “Get rid of the night”
Chinese New Year: Family Day (close) and New Year greetings.
It is important like Christmas or Thanksgiving in the West.
- The family meets.
- People stop fireworks.
- People eat special food
Much of this is traditional and has become more traditional over time.
Most countries in Asia do not worry about Halloween, Thanksgiving, Easter or Christmas. Instead, they have:
Do the Chinese only use the lunar calendar?
No. On a daily basis, the country uses the Gregorian calendar, the same as us. The Chinese lunar calendar is used to mark traditional festivities such as the Chinese New Year. It is also the calendar that determines the zodiacal signs. Some people still celebrate their birthday by the lunar calendar.
Why is there an animal for every year?
Our zodiac is based on a 12-month cycle, but the Chinese zodiac on a 12-year cycle. Each one of those 12 years is represented by a different animal, with a certain symbolism and personality.
Why is it such an important holiday?
It is estimated that 1/4 of the world’s population celebrates the Chinese New Year. In many other Asian countries, such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam or Korea, it is a very significant date, setting at least one holiday.
Also in the West it has a great impact: 500 thousand people gathered in London in 2015 to celebrate it.
In addition, it is in these days when the largest migratory movement on the planet takes place: 3 billion trips to return home and celebrate the New Year as a family. 3-thousand-million. Wow
Hope you guys like this tiny information.