Welcoming the Rabbit

It’s time again: The Tiger is passing the baton to the Rabbit, a perfect time to send holiday wishes to your Chinese business partners and friends. In Chinese culture, the Rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace, prosperity and hope. All over China, people will take a break to celebrate. 

Our Shanghai office shares some tips on what to know and how to share holiday wishes with your Chinese business partners, clients, colleagues and friends:

  • As many as 400 million Chinese are expected to travel to their hometowns in the first year travel is possible since 2020. This year is expected to see more than 2 billion passenger trips, up 99.5% from 2022 levels.
  • But China is not the only country celebrating: One in four people on this planet celebrate the Lunar or Chinese New Year. Countries taking public holidays also are Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea, Malaysia, North Korea, Singapore and Brunei.
  • The holiday in China only lasts 3 days. But the Chinese government extends the holiday to seven days to encourage the tourism industry, then mandates make-up working days on weekends afterwards.
  • If like your CIC editors you were born in 1951, 1963, 1975 (🙋‍♀️ – Nedra), 1987 (🙋‍♀️ – Irene), 1999 or 2011, you might share characteristics with Albert Einstein, Michael Jordan, Angelina Jolie, Anita Mui and David Beckham. You are believed to be vigilant, witty, quick-minded, and ingenious. (We’re blushing.)
  • If you want to wish anyone in China a happy new year in Chinese, you can say “Xin Nian Kuai Le” or write “祝您新年快乐,万事如意” in simplified Chinese (Mainland) or “祝您新年快樂,萬事如意” in traditional Chinese (Hong Kong and Taiwan). One joke is that “rabbit” in Chinese 兔, pronounced “Tu” is used to replace “to” in English: “Happy New Year TO(兔; rabbit) you!”

The Year of Rabbit ends on Feb 9, 2024, when we will call for “crouching bunny, hidden dragon”. Want to know what’s ahead in the Year of the Rabbit? Click here.

In that spirit we wish you all a very happy, healthy and hopeful Year of the Rabbit.