lunar new year



Business traveler’s guide to Lunar New Year


Lunar New Year isn't only about vibrant celebrations; it's also a significant period that impacts businesses globally. For those of us traveling for work, diving into the cultural significance of this time can enhance our connections with colleagues and partners worldwide. So, let's explore this widely celebrated festival's cultural and business nuances.

What is Lunar New Year?

Also known as Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival, Lunar New Year marks the beginning of the lunar calendar, falling between late January and mid-February.

It's a cornerstone celebration for East Asian communities, including Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Malaysian, Singaporean, Indonesian, Tibetan and Mongolian communities, and embodies traditions that signify renewal, unity, and prosperity.

This festival is a time for family gatherings, honoring ancestors, and enjoying cultural performances like dragon dances, all aimed at bringing good luck for the year ahead.

Wood Dragon lit up for Lunar New Year


2024: The Year of the Wood Dragon

This year, the Spring Festival starts on February 10, 2024 and ushers in the Year of the Wood Dragon. The dragon, especially the Wood Dragon, symbolizes strength, wisdom, and prosperity.

This year encourages boldness, creativity, and innovation. It's an auspicious time for starting new projects, embracing opportunities, and fostering personal and professional growth.

Lunar New Year's impact on business

This time of year significant shifts occur as many people travel to celebrate with family, affecting business operations. For business travelers, understanding this cultural practice is crucial for planning. Companies that honor this time often see enhanced employee morale and loyalty. Recognizing Lunar New Year can strengthen workplace culture and employee relationships.

5 Best practices for businesses

Understanding the traditions and customs associated with the New Year is crucial for fostering an inclusive and respectful atmosphere among our peers, colleagues, and business partners.

Here are 5 best practices:

  • 1. Know your numbers:

    Be mindful of cultural preferences for certain numbers; favor "8" over "4" in your business interactions to align with symbols of prosperity and avoid connotations of bad luck.

  • 2. Colors convey meaning:

    Red symbolizes luck and fortune. Incorporating red into your attire or business gifts can be a thoughtful nod to cultural traditions.

  • 3. Gifts of good fortune:

    Gifts like mandarin oranges or premium tea baskets can convey good wishes and respect for prosperity and health.

  • 4. Plan with the lunar calendar in mind:

    Avoid scheduling important business meetings during the main celebrations to foster goodwill and smooth partnerships.

  • 5. Support time off for celebration:

    Recognize the importance of Lunar New Year for employees, or stakeholders and partners who observe it. Accommodate leave requests and reduce work pressures during the new year festivities to help create a workplace that embraces diversity and wellbeing of their team.

As we approach Lunar New Year 2024, embracing these insights can enrich business interactions and show respect for the cultural practices of colleagues and partners.

Wishing all who celebrate a prosperous and joyous Lunar New Year!