Do’s and don’ts during Chinese Lunar New Year in the Workplace

The Year of the Dog is quickly approaching! The Chinese population and those who follow the lunar new year traditions have already started to plan and prepare for this great festival. Getting ready means more than just getting new lai see packets (利是, red packets) and bank notes. In the workplace, there are numerous traditional activities and practices that you may want to get ready for!

The art of giving lai see packets in the office
The tradition of giving and receiving lai see packets is a deeply rooted in Chinese culture and is especially popular during the Lunar New Year period. In the workplace, senior members of a company would often give red lai see packets to junior staff as a token of thanks to them for their hard work and to bring them luck and good fortune for the coming year. Although there is no fixed rule on what amount to give but typically between $50 and $100 is ideal. It is also common practice to give lai see packets to service staff such as office administrators, pantry and cleaning staff to show your appreciation for their work.

Lai See Packets

Clean up for the first day of work
In Chinese tradition, choosing the “right” date and time on the new lunar calendar for important events and activities are often essential for bringing luck and good fortune. Some business owners or management teams would pick a “lucky day” to be their first day back of work, which is often the fourth day of the Lunar New Year. Before closing up for the holidays, it is customary to do an annual clean-up of your office (and home) to symbolise “sweeping away” any bad luck from the previous year. When the first day of the lunar year arrives, it’s recommended not to do any cleaning to avoid sweeping away any good luck and prosperity for the coming year!

Start the year with a Lion and good vibes
The Lunar New Year is one of the liveliest and happiest festivals where family, friends, colleagues and clients gather for celebrations. In the workplace, companies would normally kick off the start of the lunar year with a team lunch or dinner, which normally features a festive menu. Another tradition is the Lion Dance, which is a team of dancers hidden under a big lion costume that mimics the movement of a lion. The lion dances around the office to bless each corner and staff will typically touch the lion for good luck whilst taking selfies too. In the grand finale, the lion plucks a hanging lettuce from the office entrance to symbolise good fortune and wealth to the company.

Lion Dance

Gifts for clients
Much like Christmas, giving your clients a gift over Lunar New Year is a nice way to thank clients for their business and that you value their continued support. There are many types of common gifts that serve this purpose, such as gifting traditional Chinese foods, wine or corporate gift items. Although to stand out from the crowd and leave a lasting impression, you might also want to consider unique alternatives. Red Packet gifts offer gift cards which allow the recipient to choose their own gift experience. With choices which range from gastronomy to wellness experiences that are nicely packaged gift cards, there’s something for everyone!