Commentary

Chinese New Year is Among Us – The year of the Goat

Chinese New Year is Among Us – The year of the Goat

 

What is Chinese New year? 

Also known as Spring Festival.  The Chinese New Year is traditionally a time to honor deities and ancestors.  It is one of the biggest holidays in the Chinese culture.

[photo source: depositphotos.com/cienpies]

Chinese new year 2015 watercolor goat illustrationHow is CNY celebrated? 

Much like other holidays, it is a time for social gathering with friends and family.  Other activities include travel, cleaning, decorating with red-paper cut-outs, lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes.

How does it affect my business? 

Most Chinese businesses will be closed February 18 through February 24, 2015.  However, there are many factories that will close over the dates preceding and following the holiday.  It is a good idea to take note and check with your Chinese or Taiwanese counterpart.  This is the biggest time of the year for the Chinese to travel, which also means, it is the most difficult time to travel.   Actually, according to the Wall Street Journal, it is the worst time to travel – between Feb 2 and March 15, that is.

How long is Chinese New Year? 

CNY is 15 days, not including the additional preceding days of celebration.

What does the holiday entail ?

A List of Festivities include:

Preceding days:  A traditional porridge is served in remembrance of an ancient festival.  Chinese families give their home and selves a thorough cleaning.  It is also traditional that businesses pay off debts and send gifts or rice to business associates.  The biggest event of any Chinese New Year’s Eve is the Reunion Dinner, named as “Nian Ye Fan”.

First Day:  Welcome deities of the heavens and earth, but most importantly this day is to honor one’s elders like grandparents and great-grandparents.

Second Day:  Known as “Beginning of the Year.”  This day is when married daughters visit their birth parents.  (“Traditionally, married daughters didn’t have the opportunity to visit their birth families frequently.”)  Some people also believe this day is the birthday of all dogs and give them special treats.

Third Day:  Known as “Red Mouth.”  Considered an unlucky day to have guests or place visits.  Rural areas will still burn paper offerings.

Fourth Day:  Corporate spring dinners, some businesses return back to work.

Fifth Day:  The god of Wealth’s birthday.   Celebrated with fireworks.

Sixth Day: In Taiwan, businesses will re-open their doors with fireworks.

Seventh Day:  Everyone grows “one year older” on this day.  Happy Birthday!

Eighth Day:  A big family feast is celebrated in honor of the ruler of Heaven.  Store owners host lunch or dinner for employees.

Ninth Day:  A day to offer prayers to Jade Emperor of Heaven.

Tenth Day:  A day to party for Jade Emperor.

Thirteenth Day:  People eat vegetarian foods as a belief to “cleanse their stomachs.”

Fifteenth Day:  Known as “Lantern Festival.”  People walk the streets carrying lighted lanterns to “guide wayward spirits home.”

[photo source: depositphotos.com/mayangsari]

Mini mandarin oranges in a red chinese box with new  year money packet“In China, Malaysia and Singapore, this day is celebrated by individuals seeking for a romantic partner, like our Valentines Day. Normally, single women would write their contact number on mandarin oranges and throw it in a river or a lake while single men would collect them and eat the oranges. The taste is an indication of their possible love: sweet represents a good fate while sour represents a bad fate.”

This day often marks the end of the Chinese New Year festivities.

 

What is your Zodiac?

2015 is the Year of the Goat.  Check out what your animal sign is and when you should expect a “year of good luck.”  Click here.

 

Source:  Wikipedia