Do you know when it will be Chinese New Year?
Do you know the story behind Chinese New Year?
Do you know some of the things people do during Chinese New Year?
Do you want to cash in on Chinese New Year?
Keep reading to find out more!
When is Chinese New Year?
Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is the most important festival in the greater China region, and widely celebrated in countries heavily influenced by Chinese culture, such as Singapore, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. Chinese New Year falls on the first day of the year of the Lunar Calendar, which is usually around early February. This year Chinese New Year falls on Monday 8 February 2016 and welcomes in the year of the Monkey.
How did Chinese New Year come about?
According to legend and folk tales, a very long time ago there was a mythical beast called the “Nian” that destroyed villages and ate villagers around the turn of the year. At first everyone was scared and do not know how to deal with it, as a result lots of villagers died. However, they later discovered that the “Nian” was afraid of the color red and firecrackers. Every year after that, people would hang red lanterns, paste red paintings on their doors and burn firecrackers when Chinese New Year comes around! Of course, “Nian” only exists in legends.
Want to know more about the customs?
So, apart from red lanterns and firecrackers, what more is involved? Actually, there’s a lot more! Most families buy new outfits for their children and sometimes even the adults do so as well, in the weeks before Chinese New Year comes. As the old Chinese saying goes, “New Year is best accompanied by new clothes”. On New Year’s Eve families would usually gather for a reunion dinner and eat dumplings together. On the first day, the first thing children do in the morning would be to wish their parents and grandparents well, called “Bai Nian” in Chinese. In return, they would get extra pocket money wrapped in red papers, called “Ya Sui Qian”. It is said that this would help the child to have good luck all year round.
What does this mean for retailers?
Now you may ask, so I’ve learnt about Chinese New Year, but how does it help my business in a local context? In fact, the opportunities Chinese New Year brings are enormous! Being one of the longest holidays in China, in recent years more and more Chinese are spending their Chinese New Year holidays overseas. According to CNN, the United States is ranked as being the top destination by 17% of experienced Chinese travelers, higher than any other nation. In 2015, a jaw-dropping 2 million Chinese tourists visited the U.S. and an annual growth of 20% of this number is expected after a relaxed visa policy came into effect in the same year. Not only that, they’re also spending big money in America. On average, Chinese tourists spent $7,200 U.S. dollars per trip, more than any other foreigners. As Mr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt, director of the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute puts it, “wealthy Chinese view a trip to America as a social necessity.”
It is not just the tourists who are creating big business opportunities. Local Chinese communities, and the Asian community at large, are all likely to spend large amounts of money during the New Year period as well. In the run up to Chinese New Year, Asian families traditionally use this time to buy new clothes and replace old household items during their annual spring clean.
How can you make the most out of this opportunity?
First and perhaps the most important tip for Chinese New Year is to decorate your shop with red. Be sure to put up red colored decorations like lanterns, red paintings, and if possible wear red clothes or a red hat to welcome your customers. You can find some inexpensive and stylish red window stickers and hanging signs in your local “Chinatown” area or online that would add color to your pop-up shop. You may want to play some Chinese New Year music in the background, such as “Gong Xi Fa Cai (congratulations on making a fortune)”. Asking Asian customers if they celebrate Chinese New Year and wishing them a Happy New Year will almost certainly make their day.
Last but certainly not least, let CausalLease.com help you to book your pop-up and casual leasing space for your business during Chinese New Year. Go to CasualLease.com now and find your ideal specialty leasing.
Wikipedia, Chinese New Year, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_New_Year#Mythology
CNN Money, U.S. to be top destination for Chinese tourists, http://money.cnn.com/2014/01/20/news/economy/china-tourism-us/index.html
CNN Money, America: The new destination for rich Chinese shoppers, http://money.cnn.com/2015/02/25/luxury/china-u-s-luxury-shopping/index.html
Photo credit: © Cienpiesnf | Dreamstime.com – Happy Chinese New Year 2016 Monkey Label Vintage Photo