RSS FEED Subscribe in iTunes Main Topic: Enter the mouse... Chinese New Year preparation

Hosts: Clyde Warden & James Stanworth

Before Lunar New Year, retailers ramp up, but in ways very different from the Christmas season in the West. James and Clyde talk about what retailing changes take place and share LOTS of photos.

Red Envelope
Red Envelope
From decoration for the door to religious bai bai offerings, retailers get a big boost during Lunar New Years! Gift giving tends to be for adults, not children. Drink and food makes a good gift, but the best gift of all is one with no expiration date. There is a popular story told in Taiwan about how a gift given by a person ended up being given back to the giver after going through a number of other givers and receivers. In other words, the best gift is one that can be used later for gift giving. Whiskey seems to serve this purpose very well.

Children do not get gifts, but they do get red envelopes of cash, which they then promptly spend on games and toys. Not uncommon is the responsibility of turning over all cash from the red envelopes to Mom who promises to put the money in the bank, post office savings account, or to a good use for the family. The point is, there is not anything like the consumption orgy of Christmas in the West.

Here is a flier (called DM here) showing how the Lunar New Year is used in retailing ads.
Click here to downlod (23.22MB).

The Chinese New year is about the annual family reunion.

The Show:

Length: 39 minutes. Download MP3 18.21MB (Right click->Save As).


Consumer Cam ConsumerCam:

Vid. 1) Carrefour just before Lunar New Year was covered in red.

Show Links:

Bottom Line:

  • The Chinese New Year is a time to rest for the majority; this is especially visible in the business districts.
  • The anticipation of excitement is returning back to the home town and spending time with the family.
  • In retail stores the snacks and New Year decors are in heavy promotion and display, creating an atmosphere buildup.
  • People exchange Red envelopes (紅包Œ…) that contains cash (Clean new notes a must) to each other, this is similar to Christmas presents in the West.
  • Giving alcohol (Mostly hard liquor) as a present is also acceptable during that period, alcohol is often on sale during that time.
  • New Year's related products can be seen in stores.
  • The color red is a popular color, it symbolizes good fortune and good luck.
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