Chinese New Year starts on the 27th January and runs for at least 5 days.
This applies obviously to China & Hong Kong, and also to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia ( particularly Java ) and Thailand where you find significant Chinese populations. It also coincides with TET, which is the Vietnamese New Year holiday.
This is one of the major celebrations in Asia, with a real carnival type atmosphere. Most of the offices will close or just work on limited staffing, but the shops and restaurants will be rammed full. Most beach resorts will be expecting 100% occupancy over these days. It can be a lively, noisy celebration with firecrackers, processions and Lion Dances.
In olden days children were given “lucky” red envelopes with money. Now in these modern times there is a New Year app, so money can be transferred digitally straight into the child’s account! Who says romance is dead.
The traditional Chinese calendar revolved around the movements of the moon with the New Year usually falling in the period 21 January through to 20 February. This year we will have the Year of the Rooster – or cockerel as we say in the UK (Now if you are a Spurs fan you might see that a being a good omen!).
There are 12 animal signs, operating on a 12 year cycle, so recent previous years of the Rooster were 1945 / 1957 / 1969 / 1981 / 1993 & 2005. Roosters are known to be trustworthy, diligent and conscientious. Other Zodiac signs within the calendar are Monkey, Dog, Pig, Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse and Sheep.
So Happy New Year – Gong Xi Fa Cai (Mandarin) or Gong Hey Fat Choy (Cantonese).