Earlier this month, our Hong Kong office celebrated Chinese New Year (中国新年) which is considered the most important holiday in Asian culture. Also known as ‘Spring Festival’ in mainland China or ‘Lunar New Year’ globally, the holiday marks the end of the coldest days and welcomes spring and fresh starts. Each year is marked by a different Chinese zodiac and 2019 is the year of the pig (a symbol of wealth in Chinese culture.) Here’s a fun fact: “Peppa Pig,” the long-running children’s cartoon series, has recently been gaining popularity among people in Hong Kong because the main character is a pig! Given the sheer amount of influence from this holiday, familiarizing oneself with the Chinese Zodiacs won’t be in vain. While ancient Chinese people have established several systems calculating Chinese historical years, the Chinese Zodiac continues to be the most frequently used system in Hong Kong.
Traditionally, the Chinese New Year is a time to spend with family, so it’s one of the busiest travel times of the year. Thousands of tickets are sold in the months and days leading up to the holiday, making the rush quite stressful as this time is considered the largest human migration on the planet! Most stores are closed during the New Year, so most people are busy shopping for cooking supplies, snacks, gifts, new clothes and more right before the holiday.
There are many traditions that are celebrated during Chinese New Year including fireworks, dumplings, red packets and Calamondin (a citrus fruit pictured below.)
Fireworks are supposed to scare off monsters and bad luck, but due to air quality concerns, many Chinese cities have banned or restricted their use. (Naturally, this doesn’t stop some people.) The Chinese people also receive red packets and place Calamondin at home or the office to wish for luck in the upcoming year. Red packets and Calamondin are considered two important elements of Chinese New Year as they both symbolize prosperity.
We are hoping for another prosperous year for Coleman!