Join us on Facebook Follow us on Linkedin Follow us on Twitter Contact us
nouvel an chinois

Discovering the Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is the biggest festival in the world. It is as well celebrated by the inhabitants of the country as by its diaspora around the world, and takes place this year on February 5, 2019. This celebration marks the beginning of the year of the pig of land, the last sign of the Chinese zodiac, carrier of luck and prosperity. The animal is also associated with joviality and generosity. It is the most important of traditional Chinese festivals.

Chinese New Year rituals

A traditional ceremony

The Chinese New Year, also called Lunar New Year represents the first day of the first month of the lunar calendar used by China, in parallel with the Western Gregorian calendar. Thus, the country enters the year 4716. Originally, it was an agricultural festival where it was customary to offer part of its agricultural production as a sacrifice to deities and ancestors. This allowed on the one hand to thank the deities for the past year and on the other hand, to ask again a good harvest.

The zodiac

Thus, the date of the Chinese New Year is decided after the second moon after the winter solstice. Each cycle of festivities consists of 12 years – each corresponding to an astrological sign: rat, oxen, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. According to legend, the Emperor of Jade would have invited the animals to the palace, and only twelve of them would have managed to enter the hall. To each the Emperor offered a year.

The return of spring

This event is also called the Spring Festival “Chunjie – 春节”, since it celebrates the winter solstice, so the end of the period of cold weather and the coming arrival of spring sweetness. This is an opportunity to gather the whole family, even distant, which implies a high influx on the roads. The festivities last 15 days and end with the Festival of Lanterns “Festival Yuanxiao 元宵节” or Festival of Light.

Chinese New Year holidays

Leave for the population

The Chinese New Year gives rise to a week or two weeks of holidays, decided by the central government. This gives families the opportunity to get together, and some take the opportunity to travel far from home, as on the European or American continent. These holidays represent the largest human migration in the world: more than 400 million Chinese people are moving.

A family reunion

The Chinese New Year is a family celebration. The various members decorate the house, meet to exchange gifts, presents (the famous red envelopes or “Hongbao” 红包) and taste typical dishes all together. This celebration contributes to the transmission of tradition to the youngest, such as respect for ancestors.


The holiday is associated with purchases. Historically, all adult family members offer “hongbao”, red envelopes full of money, to children as well as to young adults who are still unmarried (the average age of marriage is about 23 in Many provinces, today, these hongbao remain in electronic form for all ages, between family members and friends. For example, more than 688 million Chinese had used the application WeChat to send hongbao in 2018. Today Today, the Chinese are also turning to luxury gifts to please their loved ones, with sales of clothes, bags and shoes totaling RMB 8.84 billion, according to a research study. ECdataway The New Year’s shopping is also called “Nian Huo” or “Chinese New Year products.” This period of significant purchases for the whole family is preceded by an episode of big promotion. ns, at the “Double 11” or Singles Festival 双 十一.

An opportunity to differentiate for brands

The Chinese New Year offers great opportunities for brands, who have every interest in taking advantage of this event to get closer to their Chinese audiences.

Customize to create exclusivity

It is interesting for signs to imagine products specially designed for this occasion. In this way, it is a question of answering the strong requirement of personalization of the Chinese clientele. Expectations are in this sense sharp: innovation, creativity, but above all, a good understanding of Chinese culture to avoid scandals and boycotts. Vacheron Constantin, the luxury watch brand, has chosen to customize its models of men’s watches with a work representing the animal on the dial of the latter. For its part, the French cosmetics brand Givenchy offers a limited edition of one of its iconic lipsticks, whose motif takes the colors of the New Year: red and gold.

Surf the trend

The Italian brand Gucci has decided to dedicate a collection of ready-to-wear and accessories to the Chinese New Year, including a nod to Disney’s Three Little Pigs. Longchamp, for its part, renewed its partnership with the Chinese blogger Mr. Bags, to create a specific line, with the emblems of the pig: snout and corkscrew tail. Other brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dior or L’Oréal have also invested this imaginary.