The Chinese New Year celebration, also called ‘Start of Spring’, takes place across the globe. It is not just celebrated in China but also in other countries in Asia and in Chinese communities throughout the world.
Because the holiday is based on the Chinese lunar calendar, the dates change each year. It always falls between January 21 and February 20. This year it began on February 5 and will end on February 19th with the Lantern Festival. On the final night of the full moon, families gather for dinner and go out and see fireworks and light lanterns, creating beautiful sights in the sky.
During the holidays millions of people travel long distances to be with family, making it the largest annual human migration in the world. Nearly 100 million workers will leave their jobs in the urban areas and travel to their rural hometowns. The migration is known as the Spring Festival Travel Rush.
In the weeks leading up to and immediately following Chinese New Year, business does not go on as usual. Virtually all businesses in China close, including all factories. With the workers returning to their families manufacturing is shut down for the duration.
For companies importing or exporting goods to or from China, the New Year Spring Festival can bring challenges. Shippers normally ‘front load’ their shipments before the celebration, as they know prices will rise and lead times for getting products moved will begin to slow. There is normally a huge spike in volumes before the holiday and very low volumes during two weeks of celebration and for a time period before and after. Business operations may take through the entirety of March to return to normal.
AMS’ John Bevacqua, VP of Logistics and author of the ‘Freight Freak’ blog, said, “Chinese New Year does affect many importers who are AMS clients. The clients will order heavily in January to be sure they have adequate inventory to get through February. This in turn causes additional receiving’s at AMS for those clients just before the CNY Holidays begin.”
With foreknowledge and planning, importers and exporters do make it through China’s ‘Start of Spring’ without difficulty.
Now to the big question: How and where can we join in some of these celebrations? According to the Internet, the best celebrations are held in: Seattle, Los Angeles, New Orleans, San Francisco, Philadelphia, New York City, Chicago, San Jose CA, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Boston, Raleigh NC, and Houston.
In Los Angeles a big party is coming up on the 17th of February called the Chinese Festival and Parade, and who knows… some of our AMS family members may attend and enjoy this global holiday. It’s an opportunity to experience a beautiful culture, enjoy some great food, and start the year over again! Happy New Year to all celebrants!!