While Chinese New Year (CNY), aka Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, officially begins on Saturday, January 25th (Yuán Dàn) and ends on February 4th, the Little Year started January 17th and set the stage for the preparations that last until New Year's Eve. If you have not yet started to sweep away the bad luck by cleaning your home and praying to the stove god, now is the time! On New Year's Eve, the reunion dinner, the most important meal of the year, takes place. After dinner, children receive their red envelopes, and everyone stays up late to celebrate and set off firecrackers. Each day thereafter has some very specific activities that are intended to set you up properly for the Year of the Rat.

Soon colorful parades, festive pageants and impressive firework displays will take place. So, with the Chinese New Year just around the corner, there are some cultural customs that you as an employee and/or employer should familiarize yourself with when living in Hong Kong, and throughout the region. By understanding local cultural customs, you will better understand the do’s and don’ts that will help you successfully navigate the holiday period. For example, as outlined in this article, to maximise your luck it’s best to avoid giving a book as a present or to take extra care when dealing with sharp objects. 

CNY is not only the biggest, most important holiday in China, but is also extremely important throughout many countries in the region, and world. Singapore, San Francisco, Las Vegas, NYC, and other cities in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Cambodia, the Philippines and Mauritius will all be celebrating. You can certainly expect a delay during this time from your regional contacts. Factories will be totally shut down for several weeks and it will take at least a few more weeks for them to get back up to full capacity again. Even though many businesses claim that the CNY will have them closed for an estimated seven days, the majority of factories and businesses will be closed between two and four weeks. This long closure time is to allow the workers to travel home and back to the city where they work.

For relocation activity across the region, please note that travel and shipping costs will increase drastically around the holiday. For further learning on topics from decorations to hóng bāo to what to wear, make this your center for the Chinese New Year 2020!