Welcome to the David Victor Vector Blog

Welcome to the David Victor Vector blog. This is blog that covers religious observances around the world international affairs and global business. This blog describes religious holidays for most major religions as well as raising issues dealing with globalization, international business ethics, cross-cultural business communication and political events affecting business in an integrated world economy. I look forward your discussion and commentary on these articles and subjects. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan (or simply Rakhi) is a holiday celebrating the love between brother and sister in the Hindu, Jain and some Sikh traditions.  In 2015, the holiday falls on Saturday, August 29.

Dating Raksha Bandhan

The holiday falls on the full moon of Shraavana, the fifth month of the Hindu calendar. Since the Hindu  and Gregorian (secular) calendars do not align, Raksha Bandhan seems to move around in the secular calendar. For instance, this year, 2015, the holiday falls on Saturday, August 29. In 2014, the holiday fell on Sunday, August 10; in 2013 on August 21 and so on.

Raksha Bandhan Traditions

Raksha Bandan celebrates the special bonds between brothers and sisters.

Rakhi wristbands
On the morning of Raksha Bandhan, sisters tie a special string or band around the wrist of their brothers. The band is call a "rakhi" and may vary from a plain but brightly-colored string to an elaborately decorated wristband (or even a piece of jewelry for some people).  It is customary for both brother and sister to dress up in fine clothing for the ceremony and for the string to be tied while the rest of the family (parents, grandparents and so forth) watch the ceremony.

When the sister ties the band around, she says a prayer for the health and well-being of her brother. The sister performs aarthi, in which she ritually moves a lighted diya (stone or metal lamp) around her brother's face. After this, the sister place a tikka or tilaka (a mark of brightly colored powder or paste) on her brother's forehead.

After the sister finishes, the brother pledges to protect, honor and love his sister. In most traditions, the brother and sister then hug.  In most traditions, the sister then hand feeds her brother special sweets.

Mal puas 
Some of the most common sweets given include vermicelli kheer (dried pasta with cardamom, saffron, mal pua (a fried, sugary dumpling soaked in syrup).  Recipes for all of these can be found at the Society for the Confluence of Festivals of India's "Rakhi Recipes" website at: http://www.raksha-bandhan.com/rakhi-recipes.html
nuts and dried fruits), banana "cutlets,"and

In some traditions, the brother then feeds his sister sweets; in other traditions, the brother gives his sister some sort of gift such as clothing or something particular to her.
Nepalese kwati

In Nepal, instead of sweets, sisters feed their brothers kwati, a special soup for the holiday. Kwati is
made of the sprouts of nine plants: chickpea, soybean, field pea, garden pea, cowpea, field bean, rice bean, green lentil and black lentil

It is customary for the brother to wear the tikka mark and the rakhi wristband for the entire day to school or work.

Happy Raksha Bandhan!


Want to Learn More?

"Rakhi: The Thread of Love,"Hinduism: About.com: http://hinduism.about.com/od/rakhi/a/rakshabandhan.htm

"Raksha Bandhan," Society for the Confluence of Festivals in India: http://www.raksha-bandhan.com/rakhi-traditions-and-customs.html

"Raksha Bandhan…" Iam33now/Slices of my life: https://iam30now.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/raksha-bandhan/

"Rakshabandhan," Know India (India.gov): http://www.archive.india.gov.in/knowindia/culture_heritage.php?id=74

"What is Raksha Bandhan (Rakhi)?" BBC: Religion: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/hinduism/holydays/raksha.shtml



Illustration Sources

Rakhi wristbands: https://iam30now.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/raksha-bandhan/

Mal puas http://www.raksha-bandhan.com/rakhi-recipes.html

Nepalese kwati: Karrattul, Wikipedia Commons: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwati_%28soup%29#/media/File:Buba_kwati.jpg 

Happy Raksha Bandhan, techyhunt.com:
https://sp.yimg.com/ib/th?id=JN.DZXbK4AR68znosDMc%2fGUcQ&pid=15.1&P=0&w=300&h=300

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Year of the Sheep: Business Impact

Thursday, February 19, 2015  marks the start of the Asian Lunar New Year  or Chinese New Year. It is the beginning of the year 4712 (in some traditions, 4713) in the Chinese system, which is the Year of the Green Wooden Sheep, Ram or Goat. 

This post is one of a series of four posts discussing the Asian Lunar New Year in general and the Year of the Sheep (or Ram or Goat) in particular. In this blog, though,  we will look at some of the business impact of the event.  

Please look at the other three posts as well. These are 

1)  One Year, Many Traditions: Lunar New Year Customs Around the World:  at http://davidvictorvector.blogspot.com/2012/01/one-new-year-many-traditions-lunar-new.html


2)  Year  of the Goat/Sheep/Ram on the specifics of fortune and beliefs about this year's animal sign at http://davidvictorvector.blogspot.com/2014/12/year-of-goatsheepram-some-background.html  

This post also explains that the word in Chinese is  yáng, which can mean either the Year of the  Ram, Sheep or Goat. In some traditions (as for Vietnamese Tet, the only translation is for Goat) and in others (as in Mongolian, the only translation is Sheep or Ram).

3) List of 153 Year of the Sheep/Ram/Goat Festivals A listing of 153 major celebrations (parades, galas or other celebrations) for the Year of the Ram/Sheep/Goat in 22 countries beyond where it is officially part of the tradition. Of these, 71 are in the United States, 19 in Canada, 17 in the United Kingdom, 14 in France, 13 in Australia, 4 in New Zealand, and 3 each in the Netherlands, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia, with the others spread across the globe. http://davidvictorvector.blogspot.com/2015/01/year-of-ramsheepgoat-lunar-new-year.html

You may also be interested to compare this year's overview of the business impact to that of last year's Year of the Horse, 2013's Year of the Snake or 2012's Year of the Dragon. Those posts are at 

Horse: http://davidvictorvector.blogspot.com/2014/01/year-of-horse-business-impact.html


Snake: http://davidvictorvector.blogspot.com/2013/01/year-of-snake-business-impact_22.html


Dragon: http://davidvictorvector.blogspot.com/2012/01/year-of-dragon-business-impact.html


For this post, though, we will limit the subject ot the business impact of the Year of the Sheep/Ram/Goat.



Business Impact

World's Busiest Travel Day -- The Asian New Year


Over 3.45 billion trips were made in the PRC in 2013
during the Chinese New Year season
The Asian New Year is arguably the most widely celebrated holidays on the planet, whatever the year. Because the celebration generally means that families gather together, the holiday is annually the single busiest travel day. The great movement of people is known in Chinese as Chunyun or the "Spring Movement."

In the PRC alone, during 2014's Chinese New Year season, the nation recorded over 3.6 billion travelers during a 16-day period.   Of these, according to PRC Deputy Minister of Transport Feng Zhenglin, 44.07 million were made by air, 42 million by water, 266 million trips were by train and a staggering 3.26 billion trips made by car or bus. On a single day -- February 6, 2014, the heaviest travel date the 2014 season -- 266 million rail trips were recorded, the most in history. 

This number has been steadily rising.  In 2011, a mere 2.556 billion passenger trips took place. In 2012, there were 3.2 billion trips during the Chinese New Year and in 2013, there were 3.42 billion. 

Last year, 2014, the Chinese government for the first time since 2007 did not included the eve of Chinese New Year as an official holiday. Because Chinese New Year Eve is a time of eating together as an extended family (a sort of parallel can be found in the USA's Thanksgiving), this has resulted in widespread dissatisfaction. A poll by China's Sina Weibo (the microblog firm that is a sort of Chinese counterpart to Twitter), nearly 89% of respondents indicated that they were unsatisfied with the decision not to include Chinese New Year Eve as an official holiday. 

People return home over a greater spread, meaning that while the season actually ends after one week, return trips spread over the next 20-25 or so days.
Wuhan train station during Chunun travel rush

In practical terms, this will mean that the travel crush will be even more compressed with one less travel day. The Chinese Ministry of Transport estimates that 3.2 billion of the trips will made by road this year, up slight from 3.1 billion in 2013. The road traffic annually clogs the traffic ways of the country and seriously affects the supply chain for business as well as demand for fuel, hotel space, and restaurants. 

The Chinese Ministry of Transport estimates an increase in water transport as well. They estimate that there will be 43 million boat trips in 2014, an increase of 1.1% from 2013.

China will agaiin employ  900,000 buses over the period, averaging 80 million passengers a day. In addition to regularly scheduled trains and planes, a further 700 trains and 14,000 extra flights have been scheduled during the travel crush. 

Chinese New Year ticket buyers at Harbin train station
In 2013, tickets to most Chinese cities sold out in 20 seconds
The demand for tickets for rail is particularly high.   For example, last year on January 15 alone -- the first day that tickets were open for sale for the Chinese New Year -- China Rail service sold over 300,000 tickets. All seats on routes to China's major cities sold out in approximately 20 seconds.  The PRC government estimates that on two of these days alone -- February 6 and 7 -- 980,000  people used the train service in China. This is equivalent to over three times the entire population of the United States.

Precious Metal Coins 
for the Year of the Sheep/Ram/Goat

Singapore's Lunar Goat boxed set.

Also affected by the Year of the Sheep/ Ram/Goat  is the demand for precious metals. Since the Lunar New Year is a time of gift-giving, many governments issue precious metal collectors' coins.


The Monetary Authority of Singapore, for instance, annually issues a series of Lunar New Year coins, with eight versions available for the Year of the Goat or Sheep ranging from 1000 gram silver coin  to a 5 troy ounce, 999.9 fine gold coin.  All eight versions bear the same image of a side view of a stylized goat or sheep. The coin skirts the question of which term to use in English by only using the Chinese character  yáng since Chinese has a single word for both animals, the word for ruminants that have curving horns on their head. Additionally, Singapore has also issued a flower-shaped colored copper-nickel coin with three goats (clearly not sheep in this case) grazing in a field.
 Singapore "puzzle set" Lunar New Year coin



For the second time, Singapore has also issued a "puzzle set" coin made of 999 fine silver. The "puzzle set" consists of a central orchid (2014's featured a peony) to which interlock the twelve zodiac animals with images from the previous zodiac series.


Royal Mint of Australia
14-sided general issue
Year of the Goat coin


The Royal Australian Mint has issued four silver coins. One is a general issue, unlimited mintage of  an 11 gram, 14-sided frosted silver AUD 50-cent coin. This coin shows a female goat and her kid in a field. 

The other three  (traditionally round) silver coins weigh 1 ounce, 5 ounces and 1 kilo. These silver coins share the same design of three goats beneath a tree with the 1/10 ounce gold coin.  At this point, it would worth pointing out that there is an old Chinese saying that "three goats [or sheep] bring bliss" is apparent in much of the imagery for the coins (as well as many other items offered this year from stamps to whiskey bottles).

All of the coins feature Queen Elizabeth on their fronts.
Royal Mint of Australia Year of the Goat gold coin

Not to be confused with the Royal Australian Mint, the Perth Mint of Australia for the Year of the Goat has issued a 99.9% pure gold coin, and a 99.9% pure silver coin. There are seven silver coins ranging from an AUD 50-cent  ½ ounce 110 kilo silver coin going for AUD $300.00. There are eight gold coins ranging from an AUD $5.00 1/20 ounce coin to a 1 kilo gold coin costing UUD $3000.00 (roughly US $2462). Featuring Queen Elizabeth on one side and one goat looking over its shoulder on the gold coin and three goats beneath a tree on the silver coin. 
Perth Mint of Australia Year of the Goat coins





The government of Fiji has also issued a Year of the Goat  commemorative coin enhanced by gemstone, it this case a silver coin with three 24-karat gold goats prancing around a central yellow pearl (the color of the pearl changes annually). Fiji also has issued a silver coin with a hand-woven gold-plated silver filigree stylized into a goat's head image. The 2015 coin for the first time also includes images of goats along the edges. 
Fiji hand-woven filigree Year of the Goat coin

Fiji has since 2010 also issued a a yin-yang interlocking silver coin. For the Year of the Goat, for the first time, the coin is colorized and equally detailed on both sides.  For the 2015 minting, the coin features one one side a colorized male goat with yang qualities (a cornucopia of coins, the sun) and on the other side a colorized female goat with yin symbols (the moon and stars, a pasture) on the other. 


Fiji Year of the Goat yin-yang coin
Canadian Year of the Sheep offerings

The Canadian government has issued eight new Year of the Sheep coins in its Lunar New Year series. These include a set of five fairly affordable coins ranging from 1/2 ounce silver coin to a 1/10 ounce 99.9% pure gold coin (ranging from CAN $39.98 to $279.88). 

Additionally, Canada has released three high-end collectibles: an 18-karat 11.84 gram coin, a 1 kilo 99.99%  pure silver coin with red maple leaves colorized, and a 1 kilo 99.99% gold coin (with face-values respectively of CAN $688.88; $2,288,88 and $69,000.00). 


All of the Canadian coins feature images of the Bighorn Sheep, the wild sheep native to the Canadian Rocky Mountains.








The Royal Mint of the United Kingdom continued its Lunar New Year mintage begun with its first issue only last year. As with last year, the coins were designed by UK artist Wuon-Gean Ho. The coins come in a range of three silver and three gold weights and feature two English sheep facing each other with a landscape background that Ho suggests is reminiscent of the hillsides of the Peak district and the rolling Brecon Beacons. 
Wuon-Gean Ho's UK Royal Mint Year of the Sheep design



Belarus issued a Lunar Zodiac coin again this year (last year's Year of the Horse was its first such offering).  The Year of the Sheep coin comes in one denomination only: 92.5% pure silver. The coin features on one side five sheep in a circle beneath the sun, moon and stars. On the obverse side, the coin depicts the working of a clock, enhanced with cubic zirconium stone with Cyrllic and Chinese writing.


Belarus Year of the Sheep coin

One of the more unique coins issued is from the Laos mint. The 99.99% silver coin has a jadeite ring at its center inside of which is a golden goat. Along the outside of the jade a mountain goats climbing steep cliffs. 
Laos Year of the Goat jadeite and silver coin



The African nation of Benin has issued what it has called a "haptic feedback coin" for the Year of the Goat. The 99.99% silver coin has a kid on its obverse side with a special goat-like fur applied to it for a haptic (touching) feedback effect. The reverse side features the Benin State Seal.
The Benin "haptic feedback" Year of the Goat coin


The tiny pacific nation of Niue has long issued collectors coins. In addition to their usual offerings, this year, Nieu has introduced for the first time what it is calling a "cabbage coin." The cabbage coin 99.9% silver in the shape of a cabbage, with silver cabbage leaves and colorized green cabbages and orange carrots held by a mother goat in a dress feeding four baby kids prancing at her feet. The goats have gold-colored horns and hooves. On the obverse side is a portrait of Queen Elizabeth. The coin comes in a cabbage-shaped show box with English and Cyrillic writing.


Nieu Year of the Goat cabbage coin

In addition to those mentioned above, special Year of the Goat or Year of the Sheep silver and/or gold coins have been issued (as in years past) by the People's Bank of China, the  the New Zealand Mint, the French Monnaie de Paris, the National Bank of Ukraine, the Macau Mint, the governments of Rwanda, and the Mints of the Pacific nations of Palau and of the Cook Islands as well as the New Zealand protectorate of Tokelau.  

Year of the Sheep/Ram/ Goat                    Postage Stamps
Issuing Lunar New Year commemorative postage stamps has become an annual tradition in many countries, and an entire philatelic tradition of collecting these special issues has a wide following both in and outside of Asia.


United States Postal Service Year of the Ram stamp
The United States is a relative newcomer to the Lunar New Year stamps, with the Year of the Ram stamp for 2015 the eighth  it has issued. This year's Year of the Ram United States Postal Service stamp is a "Forever" stamp (to accommodate postal rate increases). It features artist Kam Mak's depiction of a traditional Chinese New Year chuen-hop or Tray of Togetherness on which sweets are traditionally offered to start off a "sweet" year. The tray cover is decorated with peonies (for blessing and good fortune). The Year of the Ram is acknowledged through a paper-cut sheep by Chinese American folk artist Clarence Lee  and the character  yáng, (which can mean either the Year of the  Ram, Sheep or Goat) as done in grass-style by calligrapher Lau Bun.  Both Lee and Bun's  work has decorated all seven of the previous Lunar New Year USPS stamps).


Canada Post's Year of the Ram stamps
Canada Post traditionally issues a pair of stamps for each lunar new year, one for domestic and one for international use. This year's domestic stamp features a domestic stamp with a green ram on a white background. The international stamp has a wavy red background featuring three rams with floral designs in their bodies. Both have the phrase "Year of the Ram" written in French, English and Chinese, and both were designed by Hélène L'Heureux of Montréal-based Interaction Design, and both are illustrated by Susan Scott with calligraphy by Ngan Siu-Mui.


China Post Year of the Goat stamp
The People's Republic of China's Year of the Goat China Post stamp for 2015 was released in Guangzhou (the City of the Goat, for more on that, please see my post at http://davidvictorvector.blogspot.com/2014/12/year-of-goatsheepram-some-background.html).  The stamp was designed by Wu Guanying, among the main designers of the Beijing Olympic Games mascot.  


New Zealand, as one of the chief producers of sheep as well as a nation with a substantial East Asian community, has issued four stamps for the 2015 Year of the Sheep. The 80-cent stamp features the Chinese character for sheep as the main feature. The $1.40 stamp features a traditional Chinese red paper-cut silhouette of a sheep. The $2.00 stamp features a New Zealand pasture filled with sheep, befitting a nation with seven sheep to every person. Finally, the $2.50 stamp features the South Island landmark of the Church of the Good Shepherd. All four stamps have the words "Year of the Sheep 2015" across their top. 

All three Singapore's 2015 Year of the Goat stamps were designed by Leo Teck Chong. Each features what he describes as a concept of "roundness" representing fullness, wealth and prosperity. 
Singapore Year of the Goat 2015 stamps



PhilPost's Year of the Goat 2015 stamps
The Philippines' PhilPost issued two stamps for the 2015 Year of the Goat.  On the top is the Tagalog New Year's greeting, "Manigong Bagong Taon" and at the bottom are the Chinese character for goat and the English "2015 Year of the Goat."




Liechtenstein's 2015
Year of the Sheep stamp
As is annually the case, among the most elaborate stamp issues for the Lunar New Year comes from Liechtenstein. The 2015 Year of the Sheep offering features a red sheep design with gold embossing created from an intricate silhouette cut using a laser. Additionally, the stamp comes on a sheet of four in which the sheet itself is shaped liked a sheep.


Among other special issue postage stamps are those from Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Christmas Island, Croatia, France, Guernsey Islands, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Macau, Montserrat, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.


Year of the Sheep/Ram/Goat Special Issue Products
Because the Lunar New Year is a time of gift-giving, many companies have introduced Year of the Sheep, Ram or Goat items for that purpose.

Panerai Luminor Sealand
Year of the Goat watch
The Italian watchmaker Panerai Luminor Sealand also has released a Year of the Goat watch that features a flip-cover lid with an elaborate gold-inlay horse decoration. 


Swatch's Goat Keeper
Lunar New Year watch
The Swiss luxury watchmaker Vacheron Constantin released a Year of the Goat watch in its Métiers d’Art Collection. The watches come in either platinum or rose gold.Other luxury watchmakers with Year of the Horse designs include Chopard,  Jacquet-Droz, Ulysse Nardin, Rebecca Doulton, and Piaget. 
Tiffany & Co. 18-karat
Year of the Sheep Charm

Another watchmaker with a Year of the Goat offering (though one of a somewhat less expensive price) is Swatch. The Swiss company has a special issue Lunar New Year Watch they call "The Goat's Keeper."


Juicy Couture's
Year of the Sheep charm
For the Lunar New Year, the US-based Tiffany & Co. has introduced an 18-karat gold sheep charm with eyes made of round diamonds. The charm is designed by Paloma Picasso.

The US-based Juicy Couture likewise has a sheep charm for the 2015 Lunar New Year. The charm features enamel beads that give the texture of sheep's wool. 



 The Danish jewelry maker Pandora is issuing two new charms for the Chinese New Year, though neither depicts a goat or sheep theme. Instead, one features a gold ingot inscribed in Chinese and set in a red box. Pandora has also issued a less expensive charm in its Asian Doll series for the Lunar New Year. This year the porcelain charm features a Chinese girl (in years past, the charms have featured a doll that was Korean, Japanese and so forth). 




The UK high-end store Harrods has a signature collection of Year of the Sheep items,
Harrods Year of the Sheep clutch
including a red bag and red clutch both with an inlay gilt image that could be either a sheep or a goat accompanied by the Chinese character 
 (yáng) which means either goat or sheep. While the word "Harrods" is written out in English, the character is in Chinese only allowing for either interpretation. Both the writing and the depiction of the animal are in gold. The same gold-on-red design is used for Harrods' mobile phone case.

Along the same lines, Japan's JAM Home Made Products has released two sheep-themed wallet both featuring Harris Tweed wool. JAM Home Made Products is also offering a sheep-themed bangle and matching ring.   Diane von Furstenberg's Lunar New Year offerings a two clutch purses -- one in red leather and the other metallic gold leather --  with a sheep clasp. 


DKNY
Year of the Sheep jersey
In clothing, the Italian designer Gucci is introducing a  handwoven goat hair coat for the Year of the Goat. 

The US-based DKNY is offering an appliquéd cotton jersey for the Year of the Sheep. The sheep is white and comes on either a white or black background in either short or long-sleeved versions.  
Cross Year of the Goat pen


Smaller items that are regularly given as gifts are also themed with Year of the Sheep motifs. Along this line, the US pen maker Cross has issued a highly detailed Year of the Goat black lacquer pen inlaid with a goat motif engraved in 18 karat gold. Cross also offers a 23 karat pen with the same design but without the black lacquer.


The Italian luxury pen company Montegrappa is offering a limited edition of Year of the Goat pen with a silver silver goat's head with emerald eyes. The pen itself has a pearl green resin barrel and cap and combines engravings of symbols from all five of the traditional Chinese elements: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood.


Montegrappa Year of the Goat pen
Davidoff Year of the Sheep cigar line

The US cigarmaker Davidoff has introduced a Year of the Sheep cigar limited production cigar line. These are high-end, hand-crafted cigars. This marks the third year that the company has done so. The cigars come in a collector's box. Davidoff is also selling a Year of the Sheep ashtray with a sheep's head in the center and a rim made of two curving red-and-gold ram's horns.

   

Johnnie Walker Blue Label
Year of the Ram offering
In alcoholic drinks, Scotland's Johnnie Walker has introduced a special Blue Label Year of the Ram limited edition. The bottles come in a set of four which when placed beside one another show a landscape of three rams across three bottles.  As noted earlier, the three rams echo the Chinese proverb that three rams (or sheep or goats) brings bliss. 
Patrón Añejo Tequila
Year of the Sheep Special Issue

Mexico's Patrón has similarly introduced a Year of the Sheep special edition of its Añejo Tequila. The tin in which the bottle comes is red decorated in black and gold with three sheep, Chinese lanterns, a lotus flower and other Chinese symbols.
adidas Year of the Goat shoes

Several sport shoe makers have released Year of the Horse shoes and sportswear outfits.  and Reebok, adidas, and Converse have all issued Lunar New Year shoes.  

In another area, the US-based Estee Lauder has released a Year of the Sheep cosmetics case. France's Yves Saint-Laurent has offered a new "Chinese New Year Palette" in a gold and red case (though with no sign of a zodiac animal).


Finally, several more consumable items have been released in special Lunar New Year limited editions. The Belgian-based chocolate-makers Neuhaus and Godiva, for instance, both sell chocolates in Year of the Goat gift boxes.  

These represent just some of the Year of the Sheep/Goat products that will come out in honor of the Lunar New Year. If you have others, please do add them in the comments to this blog.

 Conclusion
As with all of my posts on this blog, this is meant only to give the view of one person (me). There are far more expert writers than myself... this is just a taste. 

Gung Hay Fat Choy! (May prosperity be with you!)
Further Reading

AgAu News, "2015 Year of the Goat: Guide to the Lunar Coins," http://agaunews.com/2015-year-goat-guide-lunar-coins/

China Daily, "'Chunyan' sees 3.6 billion trips," February 24, 2014. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2014-02/24/content_17302407.htm

CRI English, "China's Road Passengers Up During 'Chunyun'," December 24, 2013: http://english.cri.cn/6909/2013/12/24/2361s804908.htm

Michelle FlorCruz, "China's 'Chunyun' Spring Festival Travel Rush Begins: 3.62 Billion Trips Expected," International Business Times, January 15, 2014. http://www.ibtimes.com/chinas-chunyun-spring-festival-travel-rush-begins-362-billion-trips-expected-1541442China 

Jonathan Kaiman, "China's 2014 official holiday schedule misses out Lunar New Year's Eve," The Guardian, December 23, 2013,  http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/23/china-2014-official-holiday-schedule-lunar-new-year-eve


Ruru Zhou, "Chinese Spring Festival 2015," China Highlights, January 9, 2015  http://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/special-report/chinese-new-year/

Xinhua.net (February 24, 2014), "3.6 bln trips during China's 40-day 'chunun'": http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-02/24/c_133139420.htm
 Year of th 


Clip Art Sources

 


Photos of Wuhan train station during Chunun travel rush: Christian Science Monitor, January 30, 2013: http://www.csmonitor.com/Photo-Galleries/In-Pictures/China-s-chun-yun-peak-travel-season#250370

Singapore's Lunar Goat boxed set: http://www.singaporemint.com/product_info.php?product_id=2024

Singapore "puzzle set" Lunar New Year coin: http://www.singaporemint.com/product_info.php?product_id=2029

Royal Mint of Australia Year of the Goat 14-sided silver coin and Royal Mint of Australia Year of the Goat gold coin: http://agaunews.com/2015-year-goat-guide-lunar-coins/

Perth Mint of Australia Year of the Goat coins: http://agaunews.com/2015-year-goat-guide-lunar-coins/

Fiji hand-woven filigree Year of the Goat coin and Fiji yin-yang Year of the goat coin: http://agaunews.com/2015-year-goat-guide-lunar-coins/


Canadian Year of the Sheep offerings: http://www.mint.ca/store/buy/chinese-zodiac_coins-cat170010

Wuon-Gean Ho's UK Royal Mint Year of the Sheep design: http://agaunews.com/2015-year-goat-guide-lunar-coins/ 


Laos Year of the Goat jadeite and silver coin: http://agaunews.com/2015-year-goat-guide-lunar-coins/ 

The Benin "haptic feedback" Year of the Goat coin: http://agaunews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/2015LUN-BENIN-HAPTIC-REV.jpg

Nieu Year of the Goat cabbage coin: http://agaunews.com/2015-year-goat-guide-lunar-coins/ 

United States Postal Service Year of the Ram stamp: http://uspsstamps.com/stamps/year-ram-0

Canada Post Year of the Ram stamps: http://www.quicktopic.com/47/H/VrQurvjpcRnL





Liechtenstein's Year of the Sheep stamp: http://philaquelymoi.blogspot.com/2014_11_01_archive.html

Panerai Luminor Sealand  Year of the Goat watch:  http://www.watchesbysjx.com/2014/12/pre-sihh-2015-introducing-panerai.html

Swatch's Goat Keeper Lunar New Year watch: http://store.swatch.com/collections/chinese-new-year.html

Tiffany & Co. 18-karat Year of the Sheep Charm: http://www.tiffany.com/Shopping/Item.aspx?sku=25934458

Juicy Couture's Year of the Sheep charm: http://www.neimanmarcus.com/Juicy-Couture-Beaded-Sheep-Charm/prod112860033/p.prod

Pandora Chinese New Year gold ingot charm: http://www.charmsaddict.com/2014/12/pandora-chinese-new-year-2015-sneak-peek/

Harrods Year of the Sheep clutch: http://www.shopstyle.co.uk/browse/wallets/Harrods

DKNY Year of the Sheep jersey: http://cache.net-a-porter.com/images/products/506867/506867_in_sl.jpg

Cross Year of the Goat pen: http://www.penplace.com/product-p/AT0312-19.htm?gclid=CPqjruTTrcMCFY-JaQodLYUA8A

Montegrappa Year of the Goat pen: http://www.pensinasia.com/new/product/montegrappa/montegrappa_limited_edition_2015_year_of_the_goat_silver_fountain_pen_7480.html

Davidoff Year of the Sheep cigar line: http://www.cigar-coop.com/2014/10/cigar-news-davidoff-2015-year-of-sheep.html

Johnnie Walker Year of the Ram offering: http://lsa5.0.assets.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/JW-year-of-the-ram1.jpg

Patrón Añejo Tequila Year of the Sheep Special Issue: http://www.moodiereport.com/images3/Patron_Anejo_Chinese_New_Year_Gift_Tin_1214_2.jpg

adidas Year of the Goat shoes: http://www.kicksonfire.com/2015/01/13/adidas-originals-chinese-new-year-pack-2015/

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Year of the Ram/Sheep/Goat: Lunar New Year Celebrations Around the World 2015

Chinese New Year Celebration, London, England
Thursday, February 19, 2015 begins the Year of the yáng, which can mean either the Year of the  Ram, Sheep or Goat. It is the beginning of the year 4712 (in some traditions, 4713) in the Asian lunar system, which is the Year of the Green Wooden Ram/Sheep/Goat.

This post covers Lunar New Year celebrations around the world for 2015.The post first indicates where the Lunar New Year is an official state holiday. The post then goes on to share the wide range of events taking place outside of those countries. The listing here gives 153 major celebrations (parades, galas or other celebrations) for the Year of the Ram/Sheep/Goat in 22 countries beyond where it is officially part of the tradition. Of these, 71 are in the United States, 19 in Canada, 17 in the United Kingdom, 14 in France, 13 in Australia, 4 in New Zealand, and 3 each in the Netherlands, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia, with the others spread across the globe.

That said, you may also be interested in reading three related posts on

1)  Lunar New Year Customs around the world at
 http://davidvictorvector.blogspot.com/2012/01/one-new-year-many-traditions-lunar-new.html

2)  Year of the Ram/Sheep/Goat Some Background with the specifics for the character traits of those born in the Year of the Ram/Sheep/Goat in general and specifics for 2015 as the Year of the Wooden Ram/Sheep/Goatin particular. This post also explains whether this is the Year of the Ram, the Year of the Sheep or the Year of the Goat. You can read this at   http://davidvictorvector.blogspot.com/2014/12/year-of-goatsheepram-some-background.html

and 

3)  Year of the Ram/Sheep/Goat: Business Impact .  This post covers the business effects from travel to special editions of coins, stamps and gifts for the Lunar New Year around the world. http://davidvictorvector.blogspot.com/2015/01/year-of-sheep-business-impact.html


A TIME OF SLOW DOWNS AND TIME OFFS

The Asian Lunar New Year is a public holiday with varying lengths in several countries.

Many Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Bhutanese and Mongolian communities unofficially are closed for the entire New Year’s week (including the preceding or following weekends in many cases). The dates of observance for Tet in Vietnam and Seol in Korea may extend well beyond the official dates as well, especially in rural areas. This somewhat parallels the slowing or shutting down of work and school for Christmas in Europe, AustraliaNew Zealand and the Americas.


OFFICIAL STATE HOLIDAYS

The Asian New Year in various countries is officially recognized by the state in 15 countries, as follows:


Bhutan
Bhutan: Officially off for Losar but the dates are not officially specified. As some festivities last up to 15 days, this means that the time when things are open or closed is somewhat unclear for about two weeks.


Brunei
Brunei: The first Day of Lunar New Year is an official holiday. If that date lands on a Friday (the Islamic day off), the official observance is moved to the next day on Saturday. It is significant that the Chinese and Vietnamese in Brunei are only a minority, but the state still recognizes the first day of the Asian New Year as a sign of respect to an important minority population.


Christmas Island

Christmas Island: Christmas Island is a territory of Australia, and not a full country. Still, since (unlike Australia), the territory recognizes the first two days of the Lunar New Year as an official holiday, it is listed here. If the holiday falls on a Sunday (the Christian day off), it is extended until the following Tuesday.



Hong Kong

Hong Kong: Though technically part of the PRC, Hong Kong has considerable autonomous control. The first three days of the Chinese New Year are official holidays. This is one day longer than on the Mainland.


Indonesia

Indonesia: The first day of the Lunar New Year is a holiday. It is significant that the Chinese and Vietnamese in Indonesia are only a minority, but the state still recognizes the first day of the Asian New Year as a sign of respect to an important minority population.


Macau
Macau: Macau, like Hong Kong, is technically part of the PRC, but has considerable autonomous control. As with Hong Kong, the first three days of the Chinese New Year are official holidays. This is one day longer than on the Mainland.


Malaysia
Malaysia: The Chinese are Malaysia's largest minority and a major part of the overall society. As a sign of respect to that minority, Malaysia recognizes the first two days of Lunar New Year as official holidays.



Mongolia: Bituun (New Year's Eve) and first three days of Tsagaan Sar are official holidays.
Mongolia
Mauritius: Mauritius is the only nation in Africa to recognize the Lunar New Year as an official state holiday.


North Korea


North Korea: The first day of Seol is an official holiday.


The Philippines

The Philippines: The first day of the Lunar New Year is a holiday, although the Chinese community is a minority within the country.

PRC
People's Republic of China: New Year’s Eve and the first two days of the New Year are holidays in the PRC. That said, the government usually officially makes the New Year a seven-day holiday. By doing so, the Chinese may have the days off but are then required to work during either the preceding or following weekend (or another weekend if agreed upon). Businesses and schools, in turn, consider the two weekend days as being the weekdays that were missed. While this clarifies issues such as overtime pay or extra school days, this nonetheless makes predicting when something is actually shut down or open very difficult at this time of year.

Note also that Hong Kong, Macau and Tibet all are part of the PRC but have different Lunar New Year official times off (as noted elsewhere in this list).
Taiwan
Taiwan: In Taiwan the Lunar New Year’s Eve and the first three days of the Chinese New Year are official days off. Additionally, the fifth day of the Chinese New Year is an official day off for the Dragon Boat Festival (or Duan Wu Festival). This effectively makes the fourth day of the New Year an unofficial day off.

Tibet
Tibet: Although Tibet is part of the PRC, Losar is officially recognized as a holiday for the first seven days of the Lunar New Year. This is done as a recognition of the cultural traditions of the Tibetan ethnic minority.

Singapore
Singapore: Singapore recognizes the first two days of the Lunar New Year as official days off. Approximately 74% of Singapore's population is Chinese in ethnicity.

South Korea

South Korea: The first three days of Seol are officially recognized as a state holiday.

Vietnam

Vietnam: The last two days of old year and first three days of Tet are officially recognized as state holidays.




Year of the Sheep, Ram, Goat Celebrations Around the Globe



Of course, many of the most important parades and celebrations for Chinese New Year, as one would expect, taking place in China, Hong Kong, MacauSingapore and Taiwan. Similarly, Losar celebrations take place in Bhutan and Tibet; Tet celebrations in Vietnam, Seol celebrations in Korea and so on.

The emphasis here, though, is to show how widespread observances for the Asian Lunar New Year have become throughout the world and to encourage you to consider attending one of these if you live nearby.




Lunar New Year Celebrations in Asian Countries 
Without Lunar Year Tradition

Indonesia

* Jakarta, Indonesia http://newyearseveblog.com/jakarta-chinese-new-year/

Malaysia



The Philippines  


Manila's Chinese New Year Parade begins in Binondo.
The oldest Chinatown in the world, Binondo was already well established 
as a trade center when the Spanish arrived in 1521, and remains
an active center of Filipino Chinese commerce and culture to this day.

Thailand









Nakon Sawon Chinese New Year Parade (left)
The Chinese community has been present in Thailand
since the Ayutthaya Period (ca. 1350 CE)






Lunar New Year Celebrations Elsewhere

Australia

Adelaide, South Australia http://www.chinesenewyear.com.au/ade_home.html


Perth, Western Australia  http://www.chinesenewyear.com.au/perth_home.html



Chinese New Year festivities in Sydney
include fireworks over the harbor



Canada

* Nanaimo, British Columbia NOTE: This is actually a joint Robert Burns Day / Chinese New Year Celebration this year. http://www.harbourliving.ca/event/gung-haggis-fat-choy/2015-01-24/
Nanaimo, BC is holding a joint
Robert Burns Day / Chinese New Year
Celebration for 2014

* Ottawa, Ontario  http://www.ottawaasianfest.com/

* Richmond, British Columbia  http://www.tourismrichmond.com/includes/calendar-of-events/Countdown-Night-to-Chinese-New-Year-of-the-Sheepat-Aberdeen-Centre/1032/

Vancouver's Chinese New Year Parade
annually draws over 50,000 spectators
who watch its over 3000 participants

Saint John, New Brunswick  http://www.ccasj.org/

* TorontoOntario http://newyearseveblog.com/chinese-new-year-toronto/
                                                                         
                     
                                                                       France



Rotterdam's Chinese New Year Parade


New Zealand








Wellington, New Zealand's Chinese New Year celebration

United Kingdom


* Aberdeen, Scotland http://www.aberdeencentre.com/en/index.php

* BirminghamEngland  http://www.cnybirmingham.org.uk/

LiverpoolEngland   http://www.itsliverpool.com/culture/

Chinese New Year Parade at Trafalgar Square, London





United States


ButteMontana http://goldwest.visitmt.com/listings/15393.htm

* Chapel Hill, North Carolina http://www.nctacas.org/

* Detroit, Michigan  https://www.dcba.com/events/2015-dcba-chinese-new-year-gala/

* Eugene, Oregon http://asiancelebration.org

* Falls Church, Virginia http://www.chinesenewyearfestival.org/newsvideos/1-festival-news/30-biggest-chinese-new-year-festival-returning-to-falls-church
The Lunar New Year Parade in Flushing, Queens
is the New York area's largest with
over 4000 people marching annually
* Flushing, Queens, New York http://chinesenewyearblog.com/flushing-queens-cny/ (This is actually the largest New York City area Lunar New Year Parade).
HoustonTexas http://lunarnewyearhouston.com/
Los AngelesCalifornia (Chinese)  http://www.lagoldendragonparade.com/

Los Angeles, California (Tet) http://www.latetfest.net/?page_id=25
New YorkNew York  CHINESE NEW YEAR http://www.betterchinatown.com/

New YorkNew York (Harlem) SEOL  KOREAN NEW YEAR: http://www.koreanculture.org/?document_srl=548605

* Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  http://chinesenewyearblog.com/cny-lion-parade-philadelphia-chinatown/

PhoenixArizona http://phoenixchineseweek.org/

* Riverside, California: http://lunarfestriverside.com/

* Sacramento, California http://www.cnyca.net/

San AntonioTexas  http://all-goebook.rhcloud.com/get/san-antonio-chinese-new-year-festival-2015/

San DiegoCalifornia (Chinese Festival) http://sdcny.weebly.com/

* San Diego (Tet Festival)  http://www.sdtet.com/

San Francisco's Chinese New Year Parade
is the largest one outside of Asia.
It is sponsored annually by Southwest Airlines.
San FranciscoCalifornia CHINESE NEW YEAR (the largest in the USA) http://www.chineseparade.com/

San FranciscoCalifornia KOREAN NEW YEAR http://www.kabanc.com/joint-new-years-party-kaps-kabanc-kacc-and-kci

San JoseCalifornia (Tet Parade) http://hoitetfairgrounds.org/history.php


Seattle,Washington TET FESTIVAL: http://www.seattlecenter.com/festal/detail.aspx?id=1

Sonoma CountyCalifornia (Tet Parade) http://www.sonomavietnamese.org/

* Stockton, California http://www.stocktoncnyc.org/




* White Plains (Westchester), New York http://wacany.org/

* Wilmington, Delaware http://inwilmingtonde.com/mobile/events/event.php?e=9362


Other Countries
* Dublin, Ireland  http://cny.ie/

* Helsinki, Finland  http://www.kiinalainenvuosi.fi/en/

Chinese New Year in Milan, Italy



CONCLUDING REMARKS


There are undoubtedly many celebrations that I have overlooked here. Please do let me know events that you know about and share them on this blog if you would like to do so before the New Year begins. Also, I will try to include them next year.

Happy Year of the Sheep (and Ram and Goat)!



CLIP ART SOURCES

Chinese New Year, London, England: Chinese New Year Celebration, London, England

 Celebrants at Penampang, Saba on the island of Borneo: http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/01/08/28-lions-awaken-for-chinese-new-year/

Binondo, Manila parade: http://epicstreet.blogspot.com/2011/02/manila-chinese-new-year-2011.html
Birmingham parade: http://www.cnybirmingham.org.uk/

Sydney Chinese New Year Fireworks: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_ZbsLP5d7yh0/TU92FKZznNI/AAAAAAAAACM/Vsj5Q6XMYnk/s1600/CNY-Fireworks1.jpg

Vancouver Parade: http://vancouver.about.com/od/vancouverevents/p/chinesenewyear.htm

Rotterdam Parade: http://blog.habitatapartments.com/wp-content/upl/CNY-Rotterdam-2012.jpg

Wellington, New Zealand Chinese New Year: http://nzchinasociety.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/NewYear1.jpg

Paris New Year Parade http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Paris+Chinese+New+YEar&view=detail&id=FD0CA5B427ABD9225895D6826DFDF0B1C82081C6&first=0&FORM=IDFRIR

Flushing, Queens parade: http://queens.about.com/od/flushing/p/Chinese-New-Year.htm

Trafalgar Square London parade: http://www.toimg.net/managed/images/10173575/w482/h298/image.jpg

San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade: http://www.san-francisco-hotel-reservations.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/san-fran-chinese-new-year-parade.jpg

Washington DC Chinese New Year Parade http://0.tqn.com/d/dc/1/0/l/L/DSC01640.JPG