The Chinese New Year is celebrated according to the Chinese lunar calendar at the end of January or beginning of February. This year (2017) the Chinese New Year is on 28 January. Traditionally the festivities start on New Year’s Eve and continue on until the 15th day of the New Year, ending in the Lantern Festival. Nowadays the New Year is typically celebrated for four days.
The year about to start is the year of the rooster. In China years are not continuously numbered but run in cycles of 60 years according to zodiac signs and Chinese astrological elements. The Chinese New Year is celebrated in China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius and the Philippines.
The New Year, or Spring Festival, is the most significant celebration for the Chinese and affects every business in the country. The hectic buzzle of the whole country comes to a halt. Families gather together from great distances to enjoy each other’s company. It is a common time for holidays which typically last for four days (New Year’s Eve and the following three days). Great geographical distances combined with shortish holidays create jams in the public transport system.
Red paper ornaments and fireworks are an essential part of the celebration
In celebration of the beginning year the home is tidied up and decorated. With thorough cleaning all the bad luck accumulated during the past year is swept away. Red is the main colour of the celebration as it represents power, wealth and well-being. It is also believed to ward off evil. Important themes in decorations are good luck, happiness, health and long life. Red envelopes with small amounts of money are given as gifts and fireworks play a big role in the celebrations.
Traditionally the New Year has been a time of paying tribute to gods and honoring forefathers. Use of the colour red also has its roots in history. According to legend, a beast called Nian terrorized a Chinese village, by eating little children for example. A villager wowed revenge to the beast and was instructed by gods to fasten red paper to his windows and light firecrackers. The villagers found the beast to be afraid of the colour red so on New Year’s Day they all dressed in red an decorated the village with red too. Firecrackers were lit on the streets to scare Nian. After this day Nian was never again seen in the village – finally, the beast was turned into a mountain by a monk.
UPM wishes a happy and successful year of the rooster to everyone!
UPM in China
UPM’s third paper machine in China has broadened UPM’s product and service range in the Asia-Pacific region. In addition to office and graphic paper UPM offers self-adhesive label materials and specialty papers made in China. Of the countries where Chinese New Year is celebrated UPM has facilities in China and Malaysia. UPM has over 1,700 employees in China.