As winter approaches, so does the Chinese New Year.
The 15 day festival, also known as “Lunar New Year” or the “Spring Festival” is based off the 14th century Chinese calendar. Each year is associated with one of the twelve animals in the Chinese zodiac. 2018 was the year of the dog. This upcoming year will be the year of the pig. Each is representative of different qualities and traits. The dragon is the most prominent display in the festival, with many floats, banners, and costumes put out for all to see. The dragon has a significant part in Chinese folklore, some emperors were said to be direct descendants of celestial dragons.
The Chinese New Year is steeped in tradition. Families, colleagues and friends all partake in different activities together. Lanterns in the shape of rabbits are displayed, which represents the story of Chang’e, who brought a rabbit with her when she jumped on the moon. Many people clean their houses to rid themselves of bad luck, get a new haircut and clothes, settle disagreements or pay off debts to start the next year fresh. It is similar to western New Year resolutions where some to pledge to eat healthy, start exercising, and fix other habits. Many people will wear red which is said to bring good fortune, and avoid black as it is associated with death. Households will make dumplings together, as this also is said to bring good luck. Red pockets are red envelopes with money inside that are given to children, which symbolizes the sharing of fortune from the elders to the youth. I’m sure your kids would like to adopt that tradition!
It is a time of joy, celebration, relaxation, and reflection. Consequently, Chinese manufacturers have the month of February off. Be sure to keep this in mind when scheduling your production orders.
Photo Credit: Akhararat Wathanasing