With Lunar New Year just around the corner, here is a list of virtual events and engagement ideas for your team to celebrate this special time.
This year, Lunar New Year begins on February 12th. The lunar calendar is based on the cycles of the moon so the date varies each year. It is the celebration of beginning a new calendar year and is filled with many traditions and family celebrations.
What is Lunar New Year? Learn more here!
TLDR: Lunar new year holiday is all about luck, health, and reuniting with family. The Lunar New Year isn't only observed in China, it's celebrated across several countries and other territories in Asia, including South Korea and Singapore. In Vietnam, Lunar New Year is known as Tết, and in Tibet it's Losar.
New Year Fit 👔
- Have your team members who celebrate Lunar New Year showcase their New Year outfits! Individuals will usually wear a brand new outfit in red or other bright colours to match the festive mood. This symbolizes a fresh start and red is China’s good luck colour.
- If you are planning on wearing a festive outfit to join in on the celebrations, avoid wearing white or black as it is symbolic of mourning and death in Chinese culture.
Make Dumplings 🥟
- Dumplings are a traditional food for New Year’s Eve as they resemble the shape of an old form of currency. Chinese believe eating dumplings will bring prosperity in the new year. Encourage employees to share their favourite dumpling recipes so everyone can make and enjoy this delicious food together!
- You can even send Uber Eats points to employees so they can order dumplings from their favourite local restaurants or a gift card to Instacart for the ingredients to make them.
Virtual Watch Party 🎊
- There are many Lunar New Year festivities going on all around the world. Create a Lunar New Year virtual watch party event so everyone can enjoy watching the festivities and traditions like fireworks and lion dances.
- Your team can host their own event or attend existing virtual events that are being hosted online to celebrate like this from Asia Society or this one with the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Lunar New Year Treats 🍫
- Lunar New Year-themed treats and candy are very popular and many small businesses go full out in creating these special treats. This is the perfect time to support your local bakery or candy business that offer these festive treats. This is a popular Lunar New Year candy (available on Amazon and most Chinese grocers).
- Purdy’s is a Canadian chocolatier that started selling chocolates back in 1907 in Vancouver and they have a beautiful Lunar New Year chocolate collection that is festive and delicious! They make the perfect gifts for coworkers, friends, and family with shipping options available.
Trivia Night 🎲
- Create a Kahoot quiz or a Zoom trivia game for your team based on the history and traditions of Lunar New Year to educate employees in a fun competition. You can even offer festive prizes for the winner!
- Make this game synchronous or asynchronous, depending on the location of employees and how many different time zones they are in, so everyone can participate. Get your employees who celebrate Lunar New Year also involved in helping to create the questions.
DIY Lanterns 🏮
- Create a fun DIY night where employees can all come together virtually and learn how to make their own Lunar New Year Lanterns. Depending on the DIY, you can even send all the craft supplies to employees beforehand so they are ready to go.
- There are many resources online from Pinterest or personal blogs that offer excellent step by step instructions. Here’s a beautiful example from China Family Adventure with a full guide and list of materials. For your working parents, they can get their kids involved too!
Spring Cleaning 🧹
- Spring cleaning day is a tradition for Lunar New Year. 10 days prior to the start of new years, sweep your floors to sweep away the bad luck!
- Make this an engaging activity where employees can send their cleaning pictures or videos to a slack channel. If you’re looking to add in a little competition, award the most drastic before and after cleaning photos.
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Oh hello! You’ve made it down here! As a treat, here are some pro-tips to ensure a prosperous year of the Ox [source here]. 🧧
There are certain things that must absolutely be avoided. You can observe the following beliefs on the day of Lunar New Year (Feb 12 2021).
- Don’t say negative words – speaking words which have negative connotations, like death, sick, pain, sadness, poor etc. is said to jinx the year ahead
- Don’t break anything – breaking things like bowls or glasses is thought to break your connection to good fortune. But if you do break something, wrap it up – accidents happen. If you do break something, wrap it up in red paper and throw the shards away after the new year celebrations
- Don’t clean up your home – cleaning and sweeping should be done in the run up to Spring Festival. Cleaning during it can wipe away your good fortune. Leave the cleaning for before and after the festival.
- Don’t wash your hair or clothes – In Chinese languages, hair has the same pronunciation (and uses the same character) as fa in facia which means ‘to become wealthy’. Therefore, it is seen as washing away your fortune to wash your hair or put a load of laundry in.
- Don’t use sharp objects – Scissors and needles shouldn’t be used. Originally, this was to give women a break from their traditional duties. This is why most hair salons will be closed – using scissors will cut your good fortune.
- Don’t take medicine – today, this one excludes chronic illnesses but it was customary to avoid visiting a doctor, getting shots or taking medicine as you would jinx yourself to be sick for the whole year ahead.
- Let people have a lie-in – it is customary to let people wake up in their own time. Getting somebody out of bed spells a year of being bossed around. Similarly, wishing someone a happy new year while they’re still in bed could jinx them into being bed-ridden all year.
Wishing you a prosperous and healthy year of the Ox!
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