The 4713th Chinese Year! The official Chinese New Year celebration began on the 7th of February and continues through the 13th. This is the year of the Red Monkey. What that means could be good luck or bad luck, depending on which character of the Chinese zodiac is related to a person’s particular year of birth.
For the fulfillment business, Chinese New Year does have an impact. It isn’t just a day; it’s a global festival, celebrated by 1/5th of the world’s population. The dates are public holidays around the world. In China, school children get almost a month off, and universities even more. Another interesting fact is that people travel long distances to celebrate and the numbers are astounding. There are almost 3.5 billion journeys of over 50 miles during the holidays as compared to 100 million traveling long distances during the Christmas holidays.
The best cities for Chinese New Year celebrations in the U.S. are considered to be San Francisco, Chicago and New York. The list of things a person might enjoy in these cities, and many others as well, is long. There will be storefront decorations, flowers, vendors, glitzy costumes, hundreds of thousands of firecrackers, streamers, dancers and drummers, arts and crafts and novelty toys for sale, lanterns, concerts, and the Big Excitement… lion dance teams in parades, with floats and marching bands.
In Chicago, a 100-foot long dancing dragon will make an appearance. In San Francisco the parade may draw a million people. In New York, Columbus Square will be filled with flowers and at least 600,000 firecrackers will announce the beginning of the parade. And of course, people will eat and drink, and restaurants will be full to the brim. The most important days of this celebration will be February 7, Chinese New Year’s Eve, which is the time of family reunions, and February 8, Chinese New Years Day, the day of close family visits.
How does this global holiday affect the fulfillment business? First of all there is a tremendous amount of buying and selling as people wear new clothes, give gifts, clean their houses, and buy lots of decorations. Secondly, Chinese port operations are slowed, and this would include loading and barging schedules that would affect product availability. Many factories and businesses will shut down for at least a week, and this can be felt in a number of countries. And finally, traffic will be very congested, affecting freight moving to and from China.
When a celebration is this big, and this worldwide, an international product fulfillment company such as AMS Fulfillment will have taken take note of the dates and times, making sure that they are staffed and ready.
Now for the curious readers wondering, “Am I a monkey,” here are the dates: if you were born in 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004 you will be an intelligent, playful monkey with a magnetic personality. With regard to luck, you will have to make your own in 2016.
Author: Ida Lawrence