Full moon fever on the Lantern Festival

Full moon fever on the Lantern Festival

The brightest moon of the new year welcomes a festival of light – the Lantern Festival, also the official end to Chinese New Year. Thought the new year was over after Chinese New Year’s Eve? Think again. In China, celebrating the new year is not just a matter of swinging around a few firecrackers and […]

The Golden Pig Year baby boom and the power of superstition in China

It’s no secret that superstition runs deep in Chinese culture. And this Chinese New Year is yet another reminder of that, as this NPR news story discusses in the baby boom for the Golden Pig year: In China, city-dwellers are only allowed one child, so many are timing their pregnancies according to the traditional lunar […]

Yes, I’ll have some more walnuts and black sesame: the wintertime push for nutritional supplements in China

I’ll never forget the January scene I once witnessed at a foodstuffs store on Huaihai Road — Shanghai’s main shopping drag. There they were, masses of people, lining up for this classic wonder supplement. No, it wasn’t Amway or Nuskin or even some hi-tech offering from a Chinese company. Just walnut and black sesame powder, […]

On January 1, I do: New Year’s Day is popular for weddings in China

What do you think of when January 1 approaches? An evening of wild bacchanalia? The apple drop in Times Square? Resolutions? How about adding “weddings” to that? Because, if you’re Chinese, a wedding might just be the first thing on your new year to-do list. Why is January 1 such a hot time for weddings? […]

Christmas becomes the third biggest consumer spending holiday in China

Christmas may not be an indigenous holiday to China — but retailers had a VERY merry one this year. Merry enough to merit dubbing Christmas the third largest consumer shopping season in China. Here’s the story published in Sohu (partially translated by yours truly): Christmas Day is not an official holiday in China. Yet this […]

Get out the Ginseng and Maotai: giving gifts during Chinese New Year

Ginseng. Vitamin supplements. Top-shelf liquor. Fancy snack foods. These might be a few of the things gracing my shopping list as gifts for Chinese New Year. Ginseng a gift? You bet. Ginseng, one of many treasured remedies in Chinese medicine, is a welcome gift for more senior folks. As are any number of nutritional and […]

Will you be my “zui aide” sweetheart…on Christmas: why Christmas is a romantic holiday in China and what it means for marketing and communications

Love is in the air…the lighted streets are decked with couples unabashedly linking arms and eyes…ah, romance… [Insert sound of record scratching] Wait a minute! Aren’t we getting ahead of our holidays here? Valentine’s Day isn’t for another two months. Au contrair, zui aide. This isn’t Valentine’s Day I’m talking about…it’s Christmas…in China. Here’s what […]