Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival (Chunjie 春节), is the most important holiday in China. It is a time of family gatherings, and many Chinese people travel across the country. Chunjie is also celebrated in other Asian nations, such as South Korea or Malaysia, and among overseas Chinese. A period of increased traffic in China caused by the Spring Festival is called Chunyun (春运). It is the most massive annual migration in the world. Chinese New Year has a significant impact on both business and tourism. Hence, it needs to be always taken into account, especially if we import from China. Chinese New Year 2021 will last from 11 to 17 February.
When is the Chinese New Year 2021?
Since the Spring Festival starts on the first day of the first month of the traditional Chinese calendar, every year it is a different date between 21 January and 20 February.
The Chinese calendar is connected to the 12-year cycle of animals from the Chinese zodiac – shengxiao (生肖). 2020 is the Year of the Rat, and 2021 will be the Year of the Ox. It will start on 12 February 2021, but the Spring Festival lasts from 11 to 17 February.
The Ox is the second animal in the cycle; the first one is the Rat, which tricked the Ox, and, this way, became the first animal to arrive at Jade Emperor’s party. According to the Chinese zodiac, people born in the Year of the Ox are hard-working and honest.
Chinese New Year – origins
The history of the Lunar New Year dates back thousands of years to Chinese peasants in the ancient time worshiping gods and ancestors while asking for good harvests in the coming year. The custom of spending the Spring Festival with one’s family was embraced permanently during the Wei and Jin dynasties (220 – 420 DE), and the festival became more of a social rather than a religious affair.
CNY – traditions
Some of the traditions include decorating houses and streets with red, the color of good fortune. Fireworks and firecrackers are also an indispensable part of the celebration, as well as the older generation gifting kids with pocket money hidden in red envelopes.
Nonetheless, an essential part is a ‘reunion dinner,’ during which all family members meet. Those who work far away from the family home can see their loved ones after a long time. Foods that are believed to bring the most prosperity include fish, dumplings, spring rolls, and more.
After finishing dinner, everyone sits down to watch the annual Spring Festival Gala.
Chinese New Year 2021 and importing from China
In theory, the Spring Festival lasts only a week; however, in practice, Chinese factories may experience a shortage of workers for almost a month. Therefore, ordering just before or right after the Spring Festival is not a good idea. It also needs to be noted that the freight prices increase significantly shortly before the Spring Festival break starts. Only those who pay the most will have their freight shipped on time; others will need to wait for over a month. If one wants to avoid any problems with the quality of goods or delays in transport, it is highly recommended to place orders by November.