Monday, February 4, 2013

Why your NZ business should care about Chinese New Year

Depending on where in New Zealand you live, you should be on the look-out for low flying dragons from late January onwards. Loud, and colourful, they are hard to miss, and one of the key features in celebrations of Chinese New Year.
Dragon Dance outside ASB Showgrounds, Auckland

 So why should your business in New Zealand care about Chinese New Year?

Chinese New Year is the biggest festival in the Chinese calendar, and has been celebrated for centuries. Chinese New Year kicks off in late January or early February (varying according to the Lunar New Year), with celebrations continuing for two weeks. It is celebrated with gusto, including the loud and colourful dragon dances.

In Chinese legend, Buddha invited animals to a New Year's Celebration, and only 12 showed up. Now each year is named after one of these animals (e.g. Dragon, Snake, Horse, Pig, etc.)

It is a time for cleansing out the old,  for renewing and refreshing, taking holidays and spending time in celebration with friends and family.

Just as the tills ring in the western world as Christmas approaches, the approach of Chinese New Year is also very good for many businesses.

It is traditional to have a new outfit to see in the New Year,  meaning  purchasing not only new shoes and clothes for the whole family, but new hair cuts, and often other accessories like cosmetics as part of a mini-makover.

As families and friends gather for meals,  spend on groceries increases, and restaurants are busy. Food gifts like confectionary and fruits are given, and florists will benefit from an increase in floral displays.

Tradionally it is a holiday time, when people travel back to their home villages or to spend time with family. The travel industry can look to benefit from this increased activity too.

With Statistics New Zealand predicting the Asian population in NZ to increase from 400, 000 in 2006 to 790,000 in 2026 this traditional Chinese festival will impact upon many businesses. It is time to consider the potential this festival could present to your business, especially if you are in Auckland where the largest Asian population resides.

Those travelling to Asian countries on business will want to ensure they pack a few extra gifts into their bags. (We suggest food gifts, wrapped in 'lucky' colours of gold or red, like this gorgeous Chocolate selection) .
NZ Business Gifts for China

So take a new look at Chinese New Year, and look out for low flying noisy dragons.

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