Chinese New Year, also called the Spring Festival, is the most important traditional holiday in China. One of the holiday’s key elements is uniting with family members who work far away from home. Because of this, the Spring Festival is a time of migration, and most businesses and institutions are closed. Take a look at when Chinese New Year 2022 is celebrated and what you should know about this holiday.
When is Spring Festival 2022 celebrated?
The lunisolar calendar determines the dates of traditional Chinese holidays; hence the dates are different each year in the Gregorian one. Therefore, it is crucial to check on what day they are going to fall. Chinese New Year is usually in the second half of January or the first half of February, January 21st being the earliest possible date, and February 20th the latest.
In 2022, the Spring Festival is celebrated on February 1st. The week from January 21st to February 6th are days off. A new year means a new Chinese zodiac sign, which in 2022 is a tiger.
Although the holiday itself lasts for only a couple of days, its effects can reach up to a month. That is because many factories close a week before Chinese New Year to make it possible for the workers to go home, many of which stay in their hometowns for up to two weeks after the Spring Holiday has ended. Therefore, it is essential to note Chinese New Year in business calendars. You can find information on how to prepare for this outcome in our guide.
Chinese New Year 2022 – Year of the Tiger
The tiger is the third of twelve Chinese zodiac signs after the rat and the ox. According to the legend of the Great Race, which is the origin of the Chinese zodiac, the tiger reached the Jade Emperor as a third of all the animals. He did not reach him earlier because of heavy tides in the river he had to cross, pushing him downstream and slowing him down.
Unlike the western zodiac, the Chinese zodiac signs are mainly tied to years (in a 12-year cycle) rather than months. It is why a year of a certain animal is repeated 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 year of a particular animal take it as their zodiac sign. 2022 is the year of those born under the tiger. In China, this animal symbolizes strength, bravery, and confidence. Those with a tiger zodiac sign are gifted with courage, the spirit of rivalry and leadership, and self-reassurance. The tiger’s lucky colors are blue, grey, and orange and the lucky numbers are 1,3 and 4.
New Year Migrations – effects in China
Chinese New Year celebrations are sometimes called the largest yearly migration in the world. It is because according to tradition, everyone should spend the holiday with their family. Many Chinese people migrate to the country’s highly developed eastern parts to seek better wages while their family stays in their hometown. Around the holiday, about 3 billion journeys are made, mainly by train and by bus. The majority of public transportation tickets are sold out long before the New Year, as everyone wants to celebrate the holiday with their loved ones.
Traveling in China during the Spring Festival is quite troublesome, as many places are crowded and fully booked. Consequently, it is strongly advised not to make business trips during that period. Most companies, stores, service points, and banks are also closed for the holiday.
All those factors influence the manufacturing process as well, as it is completely halted for about two to four weeks. That immensely disrupts supply continuity. Moreover, during the New Year, it is not easy to contact Chinese business partners.
Spring Festival traditions
The history of Spring Festival celebrations goes back to thousands of years ago when it was mainly a way to commemorate the beginning of harvest season. As time went on, new customs and rituals accompanied the celebrations of a New Year. Foods are an essential part of the celebrations. In the North, the most popular food is jiaozi dumplings, whose name sounds similar to the phrase “change of the year.” In the South and East, rice flour cake called niangao is the most common, as its name sounds the same as a phrase symbolizing increasing prosperity.
Red, which symbolizes luck in Chinese culture, is a prevalent theme during the Spring Festival. Streets and houses are decorated with red decorations, mainly lanterns and “New Year pictures” (nianhua) put on front doors. The Lantern Festival is celebrated on the fifteenth day of Chinese New Year, and its celebrations end the two-week holiday period. The festival is a chance to see all kinds of Chinese lanterns.
Another New Year custom is firework shows. Although using them is prohibited in big cities, some people still upkeep the tradition.
Similar to many western countries, an important part of the holiday celebrations is exchanging gifts. The most popular gift is the “red envelopes” (hongbao), which usually contain money and are mainly given to children.
Chinese New Year 2022 – how to prepare?
Chinese New Year is a difficult period for importers due to stagnation in manufacturing, transportation, and frequent drops in quality. Therefore, preparation for the holiday should start a couple of months prior. Our main recommendation is to properly plan the size of all imports to be ready for eventual disruptions in the supply chain in the first months of the year. You should not put off the last order of the year either; placing it before November guarantees that shipping arrives on time.
Another recommendation is to stay alert when checking the quality of the products. Defective items or incomplete deliveries are prevalent around the New Year period due to the overwhelming number of orders and time pressure. Before the holidays, ports are filled with containers waiting to leave China, so it is better to avoid the stress and high prices that come with it. Because the banks are closed during the festival, all transactions should be finalized before it begins. The best practice is to stay in touch with your Chinese supplier, as it will allow you to prepare for all the difficulties that come with the New Year.