It’s true that we live here in China, and it’s also true that we are perfectly familiar with Chinese culture, language, and protocols. But it is also true that we have a very unique perspective because we were not born here. So, since IBMH Corp is witness to the transformation of the city during Chinese New Year, we want to make the most of it and share some of its peculiarities with you firsthand. Join us in Guangzhou?
Signs of the transformation of the city during Chinese New Year
This holiday will no doubt sound familiar to you, because we have been preparing you for it since last October. We warned of how the Chinese New Year would affect your hardware imports. In fact, we hope that, thanks to our foresight and your swift response, you have avoided suffering from any delays. (Unlike your competitors, right?)
What happens is that China accelerates and then comes to a complete halt to celebrate this important holiday. You will also see it called the “Spring Festival”, any everyone makes an effort to visit their families and hometowns. Meanwhile, foreigners like us observe in astonishment as all this activity unfolds.
When IBMH Corp is witness to the transformation of the city during Chinese New Year, we see many traditional details:
- One month before the New Year’s festival, people do a thorough house cleaning and sweep energetically to get rid of any trace of bad luck. In addition, everything is washed and things that are not useful anymore are thrown out. The goal is to make a clean space for everything good that is coming. In fact, you even have to settle any outstanding debts you may have.
- During the first two weeks of February, everyone flocks to the metro and the trains. They’re returning home. Suitcases are pulled up and down, rising and falling just like the prices of tickets and hotels. Transportation is madness and absolutely packed.
Giving gifts of plants and flowers
- Did you know that this city, Guangzhou, is known as the “city of flowers”? One of its greatest sights is strolling through the streets, and three days before the Chinese New Year, giving gifts of flowers and plants. The most popular are peonies, mandarin orange trees and lettuces, because they are all associated with prosperity.
Red, the color of good luck
- The streets are awash in red as businesses and buildings are decorated for the holiday. Red is the color that is used to scare Nian (年兽), the demon (half lion, half dragon) away from the new year. Red is also the color of the envelopes used to give gifts of money to children and single people.
The year of the dog
- According to the Chinese zodiac, this lunar year is associated with an animal sign. 2018 is the year of the dog, an animal that represents the defending of rights and the less fortunate. It is the year of social advances.
Orange trees at the door
- At the doors of businesses, homes and public buildings, we will see orange trees of all sizes, guarding the entryways as a symbol of abundance and wealth. They are used because the Chinese character for the word “orange” sounds the same as “success”. For this reason, every time you eat or give a gift of an orange (or mandarin orange), you are attracting good luck.
These are perhaps the most striking traditions to our foreign eyes, but there is much more symbolism during these very special days. Whether for vacation or business in China, we encourage you to visit Guangzhou anytime you want. Our hardware importers are our friends, and we always look forward to seeing you.