Your Cart Is Empty!
Importing From China
CHINESE LUNAR NEW YEAR
Tonight is Chinese New Year's Eve. Chinese Lunar New Year, also called Spring Festival, is the grandest and the most important festival for Chinese people. There are celebrations, marriages, and family get-togethers galore. Lanterns & Fireworks too. Homes and restaurants will be decorated in red, the color the Chinese associate with good luck.
Now I am writing this blog with the sound of fireworks, can you hear it?Talking about this festival, there are so many traditional customs to follow. However, here we will only highlight its huge impact on International Trading, especially importing from China!
It comes on the first day of Chinese lunar calendar and lasts for almost half of a month. But in folk custom, this traditional holiday lasts from the 23rd day of the twelfth month(Feb. 11 of this year) to the 15th day of the first month (Lantern Festival, March 5th of this year) in the lunar calendar. Among these days, the Eve (Feb. 18 of this year) and the first day Spring Festival holiday (Feb. 19th) is the peak time. The exact days are different in every year according to the lunar calendar.
What's happening in Chinese factories during this festival:
1. One month before the Chinese Lunar New Year, factories are in all out, full bore, make parts like crazy mode; their production schedules are full with orders they need to get shipped out before the shut down in several weeks. For those who come in with a new part or product to make, getting samples, tooling, or molds started may be difficult. Some factories couldn’t provide new samples until after the holiday was over, early March.
2. There will be a year-end corporate dinner party & banquet in most Chinese factories. This usually takes place a week before the New Year's Eve. During the party, almost all the employees will show their talents like singing and dancing, acrobatics and stunt, and comic dialogue, local opera of all kinds, etc. After the party, there will be a lottery draw. Those lucky workers will get a red envelope containing money. After the banquet or even more earlier, the factory is completely shut down.
A Chinese factory worker is showing his changing face talent at the party
3. During the festival, hundreds of millions of workers migrate from the east coast, where China’s industrial base is located, to the inland provinces to visit family. The deal with the migration is that many of these workers will be gone longer than two weeks. Some take a month to return. A few won’t even come back. This means that it could take a factory a month to get back up to full production strength, or even longer, depending on how many employees don’t come back. Speaking of this year, most factories will not in full blast until early March.
How will the festival affect port operations:
Most airfreight shipments require around 5-7 week lead-times, whereas sea freight shipments can range from 8-16 weeks from order and artwork sign-off, depending on the industry. As sea freight is a more cost-effective decision for larger or bulkier shipments, this can mean decisions need to be made by September/October to ensure the product is shipped prior to the shutdown.
Doing business in other countries means working within the cultural context. Yolanda Qin will always standing by your side!
Postscript: This article was written in 2014. Next Chinese Lunar New Year is on Feb, 7th, 2019. Most factories will be closed 10 to 15 days earlier. Please Prepare for your production before the Spring Festival Shutdown.