The Chinese New Year, also called the Spring Festival, is the most important traditional festival in China. One of the key elements of the vacation is bonding with family members who work away from home. Because of this, the Spring Festival is a time of migration and most companies and institutions are closed. Take a look at when the Chinese New Year 2022 is celebrated and what you should know about this holiday.
When is the 2022 Spring Festival held?
The lunisolar calendar determines the dates of traditional Chinese festivals; hence the dates are different each year in the Gregorian. Therefore, it is essential to check what day they are going to fall. The Chinese New Year is usually in the second half of January or the first half of February, January 21 being the earliest possible date, and February 20 the last.
In 2022, the Spring Festival is celebrated on February 1. The week of January 21 to February 6 are days off. A new year means a new sign of the Chinese zodiac, which in 2022 is a tiger.
Although the vacation itself lasts only a couple of days, its effects can last up to a month. This is because many factories close a week before Chinese New Year so workers can return home, many of whom remain in their hometowns for up to two weeks after spring break ends. Therefore, it is essential to keep the Chinese New Year in mind in business calendars. You can find information on how to prepare for this result in our guide.
Chinese New Year 2022 – Year of the Tiger
The tiger is the third of the twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac after the rat and the ox. According to the legend of the Great Race, which is the origin of the Chinese zodiac, the tiger came to the Jade Emperor as a third of all animals. It did not reach it earlier due to the strong tides in the river it had to cross, pushing it downstream and slowing it down.
Unlike the western zodiac, the Chinese zodiac signs are primarily linked to years (in a 12-year cycle) rather than months. That is why a year of a certain animal repeats every 12 years. For example, the years of the tiger are 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022, and 2034.
People born in a particular animal year take it as their zodiac sign. 2022 is the year of those born under the tiger. In China, this animal symbolizes strength, courage and confidence. Those with a tiger zodiac sign are endowed with courage, a spirit of rivalry and leadership, and self-assurance. The tiger’s lucky colors are blue, gray and orange and the lucky numbers are 1,3 and 4.
New Year’s migrations: effects on China
Chinese New Year celebrations are sometimes called the world’s largest annual migration. It is because, according to tradition, everyone should spend the holidays with their family. Many Chinese migrate to the highly developed eastern parts of the country to seek better wages while their family remains in their hometown. Around 3 billion trips are made around the holidays, mainly by train and bus. Most public transport tickets sell out long before the New Year, as everyone wants to celebrate the holiday with their loved ones.
Traveling around China during the Spring Festival is quite problematic, as many places are crowded and full of people. Consequently, it is strongly recommended not to take business trips during this period. Most companies, shops, service points and banks are also closed during the holidays.
All of these factors play a role in the manufacturing process as well, as it comes to a complete halt for approximately two to four weeks. This greatly disrupts the continuity of supply. Also, during the New Year, it is not easy to get in touch with Chinese business partners.
Spring Festival traditions
The history of the Spring Festival celebrations dates back thousands of years, when it was primarily a way of commemorating the beginning of the harvest season. With the passage of time, new customs and rituals accompanied the celebrations of a new year. Food is a fundamental part of the celebrations. In the north, the most popular food is jiaozi dumplings, whose name sounds similar to the phrase “turn of the year.” In the south and east, the rice flour cake called niangao is the most common, as its name sounds the same as a phrase symbolizing increased prosperity.
Red, symbolizing luck in Chinese culture, is a predominant theme during the Spring Festival. The streets and houses are decorated with red ornaments, mainly lanterns and “New Year’s pictures” (nianhua) put on the entrance doors. The Lantern Festival is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the Chinese New Year and its celebrations end the two-week holiday period. The festival is an opportunity to see all kinds of Chinese lanterns.
Another New Year’s custom is fireworks displays. Although its use is prohibited in large cities, some people still maintain the tradition.
As in many Western countries, an important part of Christmas celebrations is the exchange of gifts. The most popular gifts are “red envelopes” (hongbao), which usually contain money and are given mainly to children.
Chinese New Year 2022: how to prepare?
The Chinese New Year is a difficult period for importers due to stagnation in manufacturing, transportation, and frequent drops in quality. Therefore, preparation for the holidays should begin a couple of months before. Our main recommendation is to properly plan the size of all imports to be prepared for possible interruptions in the supply chain in the first months of the year. Nor should you postpone the last order of the year; Placing it before November guarantees that the shipment arrives on time.
Another recommendation is to be vigilant when checking the quality of the products. Defective items or incomplete deliveries are frequent during the New Years period due to the overwhelming number of orders and time pressure. Before the holidays, ports fill up with containers waiting to leave China, so it’s best to avoid the stress and high prices that come with it. Because banks are closed during the festival, all transactions must be finalized before the festival begins. The best practice is to keep in touch with your Chinese supplier, as it will allow you to prepare for all the difficulties that come with the New Year.