Christmas and New Year in Asia

19 December 2018

With the upcoming festive season, it is important to know about the different ways it is celebrated across Asia, and what this might mean for businesses at this time of year. We have found two articles that focus on how Christmas is celebrated in Japan, and how the Chinese New Year impacts importers and manufacturers in China and some Southeast Asian regions.

What's Christmas Like in Japan? 6 Ways It Differs From the West

When it comes to Christmas traditions, Asian countries can differ greatly from Western ones. Japan is one country that celebrates Christmas differently, meaning businesses can be impacted in very different ways during the festive season.

In Japan, turkey is not the main dish at the Christmas dinner, in fact it is not well known or consumed. Instead it is all about fried chicken: Japanese KFC restaurants in particular have their busiest time during Christmas.

Christmas time is also not treated as a time for family. It is becoming a tradition to spend Christmas time with partners and significant others instead of family. Christmas is not a public holiday in Japan either, with most businesses (and schools) remaining open and operational. Instead, Japanese people have public holidays on New Year’s Eve and Day. In fact, the New Year is considered the most important annual celebration, where mothers buy expensive food and prepare meals for their families a few days in advance. At this time, greeting cards are also exchanged among family, friends and acquaintances. At midnight on New Year’s Eve, families usually visit shrines to make wishes for the next year. These traditions are important to learn about and follow when collaborating with or doing business in Japan during the festive season.

Read the full article on the Wander Wisdom website.  

Chinese New Year 2019: How Importers Can Prevent Disaster

The Chinese New Year starts on 5 February 2019, and lasts for seven days. It is important to know and prepare for the significant disruptions this celebration creates for businesses, production and importers in the region.

Because all Chinese factories shut during New Year holidays and most stay closed for the entire month, it is a risky time for products that need to be shipped in spring and summer seasons. Production is stopped one to two weeks before Chinese New Year’s Eve and is not usually resumed for at least two weeks after New Year’s Day. It is also difficult to reach salespeople and representatives during this time.

Operations can take more than a month to get back to normal because many workers do not return to their former employers without giving notice, which further disrupts the supply chain by adding time needed to find and train new workers. The recruitment of new workers also creates a risk of quality issues. It is important to be aware that many suppliers will use these delays as an excuse for slow and poor service.

In order to avoid quality issues and delayed shipments during the 2019 Chinese New Year, this article provides valuable guidelines and timelines for importers.  Businesses operating in China are encouraged to start production in late November at the latest; to confirm schedules with manufacturers for when production will be haltered well in advance; avoid placing orders in January or making deposit payments prior to Chinese New Year (as some suppliers go out of business or close permanently before New yYear); and remember that Chinese New Year dates change every year. It is also important to know which Asian regions are affected as the Chinese New Year is celebrated not just in China but also in Vietnam and Chinese communities across Southeast Asia.

Read the full article on the China Importal website

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