Lunar (Chinese) New Year 2023 will be the first since China lifted its longstanding COVID-19 restrictions. This means that travel and consumption is expected to finally return to somewhat normal levels. However, according to Reuters, the number of COVID patients needing critical care in China's hospitals has peaked, as millions travelled across the country for long-awaited reunions with families, raising fears of fresh outbreaks. Let me introduce you to James Leonard, Consulting Services Specialist at Plus, who is providing some additional information and insights on this year's celebration.

"The Lunar New Year of 2023 ushers in the Year of the Rabbit, celebrated by countries all over Asia as well as the people of the Asian diaspora globally. Following a calendar based on the phases of the moon, this celebration falls on a different date each year. This year, Little Year runs from January 14th to New Year’s Eve on January 21st, culminating in New Year’s Day on January 22nd. There are more observances each day until the final Lantern Festival on February 5th. The Rabbit is considered to represent quiet confidence and hidden strength.

The largest country celebrating the Lunar New Year is, of course, China - heading into its most uncertain holiday season since the pandemic began. Since abruptly lifting most quarantine controls in early December, China has been dealing with a full-blown health crisis. Although official counts have either stopped or reporting criteria have become more strict, experts estimate that the death toll may be many times greater than the 60,000 reported by the Chinese government.

We are now in the chunyun, the period of heavy travel due to visiting family members for the Lunar New Year. This will be the first unrestricted mass migration for this holiday in China since the beginning of the pandemic. Much of this migration is made up of people from cities returning to their rural hometowns where vaccination rates are much lower than in urban areas.

Despite these challenges in China, many millions of people across the globe will be celebrating a happy, healthy, and safe Lunar New Year. In many cultures, this is the official start of the new year, and this multiweek celebration seeks to put the past behind us and usher in new possibilities. Look for some predictions here. Hopefully, this new year will bring you, your family, your team and your mobility program the peace, diplomacy, and good luck associated with the Rabbit."

As your employees, including those abroad, celebrate in China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Tibet, Mongolia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, and elsewhere across the globe, here are 100 of the best Lunar New Year greetings and wishes for luck and prosperity! Happy New Year everyone!