Impacts of Chinese New Year on global supply chains

Carolin Martwich
Carolin Martwich
2/9/2024

Reading Time: 6 min.

Year of the dragon - Chinese new year

The Chinese New Year on 10.02.2024, also known as the Spring Festival, is one of the most important and colorful times in the Chinese calendar. It symbolizes new beginnings, hope and the joy of coming together. This millennia-old festival has deep roots in Chinese tradition and a major impact on global supply chains.

The magic of Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is celebrated according to the traditional lunisolar calendar and marks the beginning of a new year and spring. It is a time when families come together to celebrate, eat, honor and express hopes for the coming year. The celebrations, which can last up to 15 days, are rich in symbolism and include various rituals and customs:

  • House cleaning: Before the New Year, a big spring clean is carried out to drive away bad luck and bad spirits from the past year and to cleanse the house for the new year.

  • Family gathering: The New Year's dinner, known as the "reunion dinner", is a central part of the festival where families come together to enjoy a sumptuous meal symbolizing good luck and prosperity.

  • Red envelopes (Hongbao): Handing out red envelopes containing money from married family members to unmarried ones (e.g. children) is a custom that is said to bring good luck and health. In Chinese culture, red is the color of luck, strength and fame.

  • Fireworks, lion and dragon dance: Fireworks are set off and the traditional lion and dragon dance is performed to drive away evil spirits and welcome the new year with energy. Two people wear an elaborate costume of a lion, one representing the head and the other the hindquarters. In the dragon dance, a decorated dragon is carried through the streets by several dancers.

The Year of the Dragon: symbols of strength and luck

Animal signs are important in Chinese culture as they are based on a centuries-old tradition. The Chinese zodiac consists of twelve signs, each representing a year. These signs are rooted in the founding history. The Jade Emperor, the supreme ruler of heaven, challenged all living creatures on earth to a race. The first twelve animals were then given a rank in the Chinese zodiac. Since then, each year has been dedicated to one of these animals, with the cycle repeating every twelve years. The zodiac includes the rat, buffalo, tiger, hare, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. The meaning of the animals can be compared to a horoscope, with each animal having special characteristics:

Let's start with the rat, known for its wisdom and prudence, followed by the buffalo, a symbol of diligence and perseverance. The tiger embodies courage and strength, while the hare stands for caution and gentleness. The majestic dragon symbolizes strength and luck, while the snake stands for flexibility and adaptability. The horse embodies forward planning and freedom, while the goat stands for unity and harmony. The monkey is known for its adaptability and cunning, while the rooster stands for constancy and perseverance. The loyal dog symbolizes loyalty and friendship, while the pig stands for kindness and generosity. Each animal brings with it a unique essence and wisdom that can inspire and enrich us.

This year, China celebrates the Year of the Dragon, one of the most powerful symbols in Chinese astrology. The dragon, a symbol of strength, prosperity and courage, is considered one of the most auspicious signs in the zodiac. People decorate their houses with dragon motifs, wear clothes with dragon images and organize parades in which large dragon figures are carried through the streets. These traditions show a deep respect for the dragon and reinforce the hope for a happy year.

In this context, we would also like to honor and celebrate the strength that the dragon brings this year to our long-standing partnerships with you.

Preparing for the next Chinese New Year for your supply chain

The Chinese New Year requires some advance planning in order to control production, guarantee the availability of goods and ensure supply chain stability. Talk to the Line Up team and design your customized procurement process with us. We would like to highlight the following points for you:

  • Long-term planning: Let one of our experts inform you about the business interruptions that may occur during this time. Most productions will remain closed for up to a whole month. Together we can adjust your order quantities and stock levels accordingly and store them in our warehouse if required.

  • Cultural sensitivity: Understanding and recognizing the cultural significance of this holiday can strengthen relationships with partners and customers in the Asian region.

Chinese New Year not only offers insight into the rich culture and traditions of China, but also reminds us of the importance of family, community and the pursuit of a happy and healthy life. It is a time that encourages us to reflect and welcome the coming year with positivity and hope. For business people, the festival offers an important reminder to incorporate the importance of forward planning and cultural sensitivity into their strategic thinking.

Holiday support: discover customized solutions

Our Line Up team is also there for you during the Chinese holidays. We will continue to be available to answer your questions and support you with new and ongoing projects. Talk to us about your individual supply chain management, find out about suitable SCM strategies for your planning and make an appointment with us. We will be happy to advise you on your product idea and support you until you can hold your product vision in your own hands!

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