As we are rapidly heading towards Spring Festival, a reminder to our clients and contacts that Chinese New Year will this year fall on Tuesday 5th February, with celebrations starting from Monday 28th January. Manufacturing production in China will therefore stop for two weeks in February, with factories expected to be closed from Friday 1st February.

As is always the case, we would recommend NOT making any travel plans to China around this time. All suppliers will be incredibly busy and booking transport is almost impossible, with 1.3 billion people constantly on the move!

2019 will be the year of the Earth Pig, the twelfth and final sign of the Chinese zodiac, according to the traditional calendar. Those born during this lunar year are said to be generous, calm, compassionate and diligent; enjoyers of life, they are entertaining company and enjoy being around others. Pigs are giving souls, who find benefit in helping others, but sometimes a little too much. At work they are reliable and they give and expect to receive honesty. Those born in the year of the pig like to express their creativity and are also focused on detail and are not afraid to take on responsibility.

Pigs looking for love should look no further than a Rabbit or Goat, steering well clear of any Snakes. Your lucky numbers are 2, 5, 8 (avoid 1 and 7), your lucky colours are yellow, grey, brown and gold and if you need a lucky direction – try east and south west.

This year is also referred to as the Year of the Golden Pig, as these animals symbolise luck and wealth for the Chinese – to such a degree that the national birth rate increased significantly during the last Year of the Pig, with many parents hoping to have one of “the babies of the golden pig”! So 2019 could well be another bumper year for babies born!

Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year, following the lunar calendar. Also know as Spring Festival, it lasts for 23 days, with the initial period – commonly known as Little Year – running from Monday 28 January through to New Year’s Eve. Then, Chinese New Year begins officially on 5th February, with celebrations continuing until Saturday 19th February.

Preparations for the Lantern Festival begin on Wednesday 16th February for the big event, which this year, will be held on Saturday 19th February. The annual spectacle celebrates the start of a new year in the Chinese calendar and is thought to date back to around 400 BC.

From all of the team at 1.2, we’d like to wish a Happy New Year (in Mandarin: sshin-nyen kwhy-ler) to our Chinese colleagues and friends.