The Chinese New Year is coming up. Residents of many Asian countries celebrate this time with friends and family. Because we work with many Asian countries, we want to let you know what Chinese New Year means to them and what the origin of the Chinese New Year is.
In the 2 weeks before Chinese New Year, the cities run empty and millions of people take the car, bus, train or plane to "go home". The money earned is delivered to parents and children left behind. Most Chinese people work in large cities and live there for the rest of the year. Many Chinese people are therefore on holiday for longer than the 15 days that Chinese New Year lasts. Many Chinese companies, factories and government institutions are closed during this period.
THE YEAR OF THE RAT
The new year (this year the year of the rat) starts on January 25 and lasts until February 8, 2020.
Chinese New Year is celebrated on the 1st to the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese (lunar) calendar. The Chinese year starts on the second new moon after the solstice of December 21. This means that the party does not take place before January 21 and not after February 20. The origin of this lunar calendar dates from around 2600 years before Christ. This calendar has been devised for agriculture and time.
NEW YEAR CAKE
Food plays an important role at all Chinese festivals. A typical New Year's treat is the niangao or New Year's Cake. The ancient Chinese word Nian means: ripe grains. Nian now means "year" and gao "high", the new year has a higher status than the old year. The cake is made of glutinous rice and symbolizes good friendship. Finally, the cake is sweet, for a sweet life. A good gift for friends.
LONGER DELIVERY TIME AROUND CHINESE NEW YEAR
Up to 4 weeks before the Chinese New Year, factories have a lower occupancy. After the festivities, the factories have to restart all over again. In addition, factories never know which employees are returning. That is why new people often have to be trained after the Chinese New Year. An enormous amount of work is also being done in the logistics area. Factories often want to send the last orders just before the Chinese New Year to catch up on all the work that came in during the closure shortly after the holidays.
In Chinese culture it is customary to send presents. We are happy to participate and send a present every year to all employees of the factories. Last year these were cans with syrup waffles(The typical dutch treat "Stroopwaffels") and this year we are sending bags of gingerbread cookies(The typical dutch treat "Pepernoten").