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All About Chinese New Year-Year Of The Rat

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Happy New Year everyone! Or Gung Hay Fat Choy in Cantonese! In Chinese culture their New Year starts on the 25th of January 2020, and it will be the year of the Rat.

Why is it the year of the Rat?

The legend has it that the Jade Emperor wanted to select 12 animals to be guards for him. To decide which animal to be his guards, the animals took part in a race towards the Jade Emperor’s palace. The order in which the animals arrived is the same order ‘The Year Of The…’ is. The order the animals got to the palace (first to last) is, Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and finally Pig. This order is a continuous cycle. 

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The Chinese New Year festival lasts around 15 days, and the date it falls on actually changes between the years because the festival is based on the Chinese Lunar Calendar, the Chinese Lunar Calendar is associated with the moon’s movements.

How do the Chinese celebrate New Year? We’ve got some great facts for you.

  • As it’s considered China’s most important festival, it is a public holiday for 7 days. 
  • Everywhere is decorated red where possible,  it is the main colour of the festival, believed to be an auspicious colour.
  • It’s tradition to set off firecrackers and fireworks as soon as the New Year hits.
  • Red envelopes containing money are given as gifts to children and retirees, this is considered to be good luck as the envelopes are red.
  • Lucky foods are to be eaten, these are fish, chinese dumplings and glutinous rice cakes.

Businesses in China see this important time to re-group, re-strategize and re-staff for the upcoming year.

Think your marketing needs a fresh start for the New Year? We’d be happy to have a chat and see how we can help you. Please email us on, or give us a call on 01905 27007.

You can find out more about the services we provide here.