Christmas is over and we are well into the New Year – in many countries. However retailers, wholesale stockists and buyers beware, because whilst our holidays are over and we’re starting to be productive again, the huge celebration that is Chinese New Year has yet to begin. And as China is the biggest manufacturer of most of our goods – it’s worth businesses bearing in mind their national holidays, so that preparations can be made for the time off the modern Chinese work force will be taking.

Here are a list of Chinese holidays, when they are this year, and what they mean – so next time you are speaking to your supplier in Shanghai you can wish him: “Happy Tomb Sweeping Day” – if appropriate of course.

Dates for 2011

January 1st New Years Day - Despite the fact that the Chinese have their own unique New Year celebrations later on, they do follow the Gregorian / Western calendar as it makes business sense, particularly as most of their trade comes to the West, and different dates could cause a whole manner of problems.

February 3rd Chinese New Year – This is the big one, it is the most significant date in the Chinese year and marks the start of the lunar year according to the Chinese calendar. It is celebrated by Chinese communities across the world. Celebrations involve parades involving dragon and lion dances (both lucky symbols in China), fireworks and family gatherings, giving red envelopes (traditionally with money inside) and decorating houses with dulian, which are luck poems that hang adjacent to doorways. Traditional celebrations take fifteen days; and customs range from visiting family members and feasting, to fasting eventually to clean out the body in preparation for the next year. Each Chinese Year is represented by one of twelve animals. 2011 will be the year of the rabbit.

April 5th Tomb Sweeping Day – This is the festival where the Chinese worship their ancestors. The idea of the ancestor is hugely important to the Chinese so they clean dead relative’s graves, lay offerings of food and drink and burn incense.

May 1st Labour Day – Like with many other countries around the globe including the U.S, Australia, France and Germany, Labour Day is a day holiday celebrating the economic and social achievements of workers.

June 6th Dragon Boat Festival – This festival is almost like a midsummer festival, however it also commemorates the life and death of an ancient Chinese scholar and poet Qu Yuan. Main celebrations on this day consist of Dragon Boat Racing, eating rice dumplings and drinking Realgar wine (Yuk! – Realgar is a type of crystal mineral).

September 12th Mid Autumn Festival – This is the equivalent of harvest festival or Thanksgiving in the West, it is when farmers celebrate the end of autumn harvest. It is the festival where an abundance of floating lanterns are released and brightly lit lanterns are hung on trees representing the moon, which is also worshipped at this festival.

October 1st National Day – As the name suggests, this festival celebrates all that is Chinese.

So, knowing Chinese holidays, any business can plan in advance to ensure that although productivity stops in China for a few days, your wholesale business won’t suffer.

Author's Bio: 

Bamboo Baby are a reliable supplier of good quality wholesale baby clothes specialising in organic baby clothes.