Chinese New Year red lanterns hanging in the street Chinese New Year, otherwise known as Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival is celebrated throughout Asia and the world. The most important of the traditional Chinese holidays, the celebrations begin with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends some 15 days later. This year, Chinese or Lunar New Year starts on February 5th.

Chinese New Year is a time to be spent with family, reflecting on the previous year and this year the lunar calendar celebrates the year of the Pig. The Pig is the twelfth of all zodiac animals and is associated with the earthly branch, a symbol of yin, and in Chinese culture, pigs are the symbol of wealth. Men born in the year of the Pig are said to be optimistic and gentle, while woman are full of excitement. Symbols of luck for people born in the year of the Pig include:

  • Colours – yellow, grey and brown
  • Numbers – 2, 5 and 8
  • Mineral – agate
  • Directions of auspiciousness: southeast and east
  • Direction of wealth – northeast
  • Direction of love – north

Chinese New Year is not typically a retail-focused event, though it does come at a time of year when annual bonuses have been paid, as well as being a time to pamper family and friends with traditional gifts, all which drive an uptick in retail sales. Throughout Chinese New Year, traditional gifts are shared including, tea, lanterns, fruit baskets, sweets and the famous Hongbao. The Hongbao is an elaborately decorated red envelope filled with money.

For retailers looking to capitalise on the uptick in sales throughout Chinese New Year, there are crucial elements to be considered in driving success.

  • The festival is a significant time to be spent with family and friends, as such the travel vertical performs exceptionally well. Over recent years, bookings have increased more than 18% during the festival. Targeting Chinese consumers with travel deals or travel related accessories allows retailers and brands operating in the travel vertical to leverage and succeed throughout the festival.
  • The colour red is vital for success. In Chinese culture, red represents fires and symbolises luck, happiness and joy. Those celebrating their birth year will red accessories throughout the coming twelve months. For retailers, this an opportunity to promote red products, create red edits or use red packaging to leverage the “lucky” colour.

To find out how you can make the most of Chinese New Year, visit rakutenmarketing.com and speak to one of our experts.