How Chinese holidays affect your marketing outcomes
I will keep the promise I made in my last article "4 basic tips for your marketing in China". I will tell you everything about the most important holidays in China, which you may use for your marketing campaign.
Moon festival: It is the second most important festival after Chinese New Year. This year it will take place on Tuesday September 21st 2021. People enjoy to admire the moon, share mooncakes and families come together.
Valentine's Day, February 14: The Chinese have adopted this western holiday into their commercial calendar. As is common all over the world, couples spend the day together, men give their partners gifts and couples have romantic dinners.
White Day is celebrated on March 14, exactly one month after Valentine's Day. On White Day, women give gifts to their partners, colleagues and even friends. Tradiionally, they give away chocolate.
It's a way of giving reciprocal gifts to those who gave them something on February 14. It's usually younger generations which celebrate this day.
International Women's Day is a big event in China. People take the opportunity to give gifts to housewives and celebrate their emancipation.
Chinese New Year, aka Spring Festival, is the grandest holiday in China. It is celebrated on the first day of the first month of the lunar calendar. Festivities continue for 15 days and are concluded with the Lantern Festival.
On this occasion, families come together and celebrate their reunion. The streets are decorated in red, because it represents joy and happiness.
During this festival, people give monetary gifts in form of red envelopes , also called hong bao in Chinese. Those are sent via WeChat or traditionally delivered in person.
Fun Fact: You can hire a fake partner for this event. It is not uncommon that young people are pressured by their family if they are not married yet. That’s why some companies have found ways to avoid this inconvenience and make a business out of it.
Other countries also celebrate Spring Festival. For example, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. So don't hesitate to expand your marketing campaigns to these countries.
The Qingming Festival is tomb sweeping day. On this day, the Chinese remember and honour their ancestors. All travel-related industries benefit during this time of the year because visiting relatives is very common.
Labour Day : Until 2007 Chinese people were entitled to a take a week off, which was known as one of the two Golden Weeks. Today there are 3 days for resting or travelling.
Valentine's Day: Yes, another Valentine's Day! The Chinese love to celebrate love, so why shouldn't they enjoy another holiday? Due to the fact that in Chinese the number 520 is pronounced almost the same as "I love you", it is celebrated on May 20.
Dragon Boat Festival: Celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month. During this time, married women often return to their families and dragon boat races are held.
Qixi is the traditional Valentine's Day in China. It is celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. People celebrate the romantic legend of two lovers, the cowherd (Niulang) and the fairy (Zhinu).
Teachers' Day is extremely important for the Chinese people because teachers are considered a pillar of Chinese society. It is an anual holiday, celebrated on September 10. Teachers receive many gifts that day.
National Day on October 1 is a public holiday marking the beginning of a full week of national celebration. It’s also known as the "Golden Week".
Numerous events are organised, including concerts and fireworks. During this week, millions of Chinese visit monuments and celebrate communism.
Singles' Day is celebrated every year on November 11. The origin of this holiday dates back to the 1990s, when Chinese students decided to proudly celebrate their celibacy and have fun.
The holiday has become so popular that online retail giant Alibaba is offering discounts and vouchers for this occasion. That's why this holiday has become synonymous to bargain hunting.
Christmas: This western holiday was never part of Chinese culture and was originally only celebrated by Christians in China. But due to globalisation, many Chinese, especially the younger ones, celebrate Christmas as a commercial holiday.
Shopping centres are decorated and Santa Claus can be spotted in many public places. For successful marketing, however, it is important to note that Chinese consumers prefer to spend this day with friends rather than family.
December 12 : This day is once again dedicated to the lovers and couples in China. I promise this is the last time we will talk about love. Besides, it's not even really about love, it's more a day of consumption.
According to Alibaba this holiday is meant to support small businesses, which may not have fully benefited from Singles' Day 11/11.
Every Chinese holiday, official or not, is an opportunity to increase brand awareness and sales of your products and services. That’s why your business should trust in native translators who provide professional Chinese translations.
Now it's up to you to choose the festivals and holidays relevant to your business and integrate them into your marketing calendar. Don't forget to register your business on the popular Chinese social media plattforms to increase your business' visibility for target audiences.
The success of your Chinese marketing campaigns depend substantially on your communication. Therefore, we recommend hiring a professional translation agency to translate your marketing content into Chinese.
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Marketing and sales assistant at AbroadLink Traductions. Sana Tayssir is currently in her second year of a Master's degree in English at the University Jean Moulin Lyon 3. She also holds a Bachelor's degree in English language, literature and civilization.