Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Year of the Rooster 

Today marks the start of the Year of the Rooster according to the Chinese calendar.

While the Chinese or Lunar New Year will primarily be celebrated in East Asia, it is also having some impact in other countries — and not necessarily because there are Chinese there.

Is Chinese New Year a desi festival?
Till about a year ago, Chinese New Year celebrations and the ensuing long holidays in the Far East were inconsequential to India. But this is no longer the case.

As China, a growing trade partner of India, heralds in Year 4,702 — the Year of the Rooster in the Chinese calendar — from Wednesday, various governments and most companies in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan will come to a standstill for well over seven days.

At the same time, many Indians are also enjoying a holiday, especially those employed in trading, shipping, commodities, business process outsourcing (BPO) services related to the Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai markets... Employees of many shipping companies and general agents have gone on holidays, since the entire month is seen as a lean season. “Nothing much happens during February, thanks to the Chinese New Year...” says an official from Transworld...
Meanwhile, in Chinese-majority Singapore, families are also doing their bit to spread the festival overseas.

More Chinese families spending Lunar New Year overseas
More and more Chinese families are spending the first two days of the Lunar New Year away from home. Helped by the long weekend, some have left Singapore as early as Saturday afternoon.
For those who stay behind, fret not. There are still places to visit and things to do over the rest of the festive period.

Happy Lunar New Year.


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