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Year of the Rooster: #CNY2017!


Note: The following article was included in our Jan. 2017 intercultures e-newsletter. Email the Editor to receive our next quarterly edition in your inbox well in advance of website postings. We offer fresh, intercultural information and insights for working better globally.

Hong Kong, People's Republic of China, Asia. Photo credit: Getty Images.

Caption: Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China. Credit: Getty Images.

As with every Chinese New Year (CNY), business slows or stops while over a billion people around the globe clean house, travel to see family, give gifts and celebrate. Also called the Lunar New Year and celebrated as the Spring Festival, this cultural tradition dating back 4,000 years has in recent decades become recognized for its importance to the global business world. Know the basics.

While CNY is Jan. 28, some businesses in China may remain closed until late February or early March. CNY is the longest public holiday in the country with most Chinese off work until 15 Feb. Beyond China, national observances in Hong Kong and Taiwan are shorter in duration.

In addition to the the Rooster this year, common CNY symbols include red posters with poetic verses (and the color red in general); fish (symbolizing prosperity); firecrackers (symbolizing good luck); and festival lanterns (symbolizing the pursuit of what’s bright and beautiful). For CNY 2017, it is said that brown, gold and yellow are lucky colors; the numbers 5, 7 and 8 are lucky numbers; and that south and southeast are lucky directions.

Common CNY greetings include, “Sunshine around you,” “New Year’s progress,” “Happiness and prosperity” (when receiving gifts) and “Happy New Year”! Many people send and receive CNY greetings via text (SMS). The WeChat platform, for instance, is quite popular in China.

intercultures thanks our China customers and consultants for their partnership. We wish our global network sunshine around you this Chinese New Year!

Information sourced from China Highlights and Time and Date.