(This article was written by Whitney Beckley at Samtec)
As many begin to wind down from their holiday celebrations, those in China are just gearing up for the biggest celebration of the year. Chinese New Year, more commonly known as the Spring Festival within China, begins with the second new moon after the winter solstice and ends on the full moon, 15 days later. The holiday is heavily entrenched in culture and tradition and is celebrated by many countries outside of China as well, including Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
It’s estimated that Chinese New Year festivities started around 200 B.C. These traditions have evolved through many dynasties into the celebrations we have today. While customs vary widely by country and region, it’s a universally common time to honor ancestors and come together to spend time with family.
Many prepare for the holiday by thoroughly cleaning their homes to sweep away any bad luck and make room for incoming good luck. Corporate parties are common, and many employees take up to two weeks off work.
Red envelopes filled with money are often gifted to children and the elderly. Short poems with themes of luck, wealth, and happiness are written on red paper and hung by doorways. Traditional lion dances are performed to bring in good luck, and firecrackers are set off in front of stores and homes to scare off any evil. Visiting with family is the most important tradition, and a large reunion dinner takes place with customary favorite foods, including rice cakes, dumplings, spring rolls, fruit, and tea.
Each new lunar year is classified by a new animal within the Chinese Zodiac. The 12 animals in the Zodiac include the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig, each of which has its own attributes and characteristics. Historically, the Zodiac was tied to religious beliefs and philosophies but now is more commonly used as a symbol of good luck and a mascot for the year’s entertainment and cultural activities.
This coming lunar year will be the year of the rabbit. The rabbit symbolizes hope, elegance, and beauty. Those born in the year of the rabbit are said to be vigilant, witty, cautious, peaceful, and kind.
As Samtec looks forward to the New Year ahead, we hope to sweep out any lingering supply chain troubles and usher in a new era of continued success and growth. Happy Chinese New Year to all our Samtec family in Asia and around the world! We wish everyone good fortune, health, and joy in the year to come.