A marketer’s best friend

Lunar New Year is one of the oldest and most important traditions in Asian culture, and the 16th of February 2018 will herald the year of man’s best friend – the Dog. In this blog, MultiConnexions PR & Social Media Manager, Katrina Hall looks at LNY18 and asks – What is the multicultural marketing opportunity during this special time?

Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year is marked by around one-sixth of the world’s population – a total of approximately 1.5 billion people!

Names for the festival vary – for example, it is also commonly known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, but the naming varies according to region and country too – for example, Vietnamese celebrate Tet, Koreans celebrate Seollal, Tibetans celebrate Losar and Mongolians celebrate Tsagaan Sar – however, the common theme is that celebrations involve reunions, harmony and good fortune for the new year. It is also the world’s biggest annual detonation of fireworks, with fireworks lighting up the skies across much of East Asia (and the world!).

The Year of the Dog

In Chinese astrology, each zodiac year is associated with one of 12 animal signs – Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig, plus one of the five natural elements – metal, wood, water, fire, and earth.

As we bid farewell to the Rooster of 2017, this year – 2018 – is the Year of the Earth Dog. Loyal, honest, responsible, wise (and stubborn!). These are some of the traits that ancient Chinese astrological wisdom dating back 4,000 years says are common to people born in a Year of the Dog.

How do people celebrate?

Before the celebrations can begin in earnest, a thorough spring cleaning is a typical activity undertaken before the new year to ensure a lucky, fresh, clean and bright start. However, cleaning is traditionally not undertaken on New Year’s Day in order not to risk sweep inadvertently sweeping away one’s good luck!

People celebrating Lunar New Year love to decorate their home, school or workplace. Traditional colours are red and gold, and typical decorations include lanterns, red paper cut-outs, chunlian (banners with a poetic blessing for luck) and peach trees/ plum trees/ orchids.

Image source: http://www.winechina.com

Marketing opportunity – Many Chinese will throw away old furniture and possessions and replace with new ones during this time. Increased spending in the retail sector is also particularly impressive with culturally-themed items and products.

Lunar New Year is a time for being close to family and friends, and the 15 days of celebrations involve the largest human migration on the planet every year as people travel to share some traditional foods for luck including fish, dumplings, spring rolls, noodles and sticky sweet rice balls. In China alone last year, some 2.5 billion trips were made by land, 356 million by rail, 58 million by plane and 43 million by sea!

Other important traditions include the giving and receiving of hong baos (lucky red envelopes) often stuffed with cash. Many Chinese also wear new clothes for the new year – especially in red.

Image source: http://artoflifeinstitute.wordpress.com

Image source: http://www.tianqi.com

Marketing opportunity – Many Chinese will re-evaluate their finances and wealth solutions during Lunar New Year and will be more receptive to marketing of such products and services.

Lunar New Year – some numbers that matter

  • 5 billion – – the number of people worldwide celebrating Lunar New Year
  • 1 million+ – – the number of visitors attending Sydney LNY events alone last year
  • 7,470 km – – the distance from China to Australia, a pilgrimage made by many during this time
  • 4000+ – – the number of years LNY has been celebrated
  • 331 – the number of businesses at Sydney’s Future Asia Business Summit last year
  • 70+ – -the number of LNY events in Sydney LNY alone
  • 15 – – the number of days LNY celebrations last
  • 12 – the number of animals in the Chinese Zodiac
  • 6 – – the percentage of the Australian population with a Chinese background (1.38 million)
  • 7 – the percentage of Greater Sydney that comes from a Chinese background
  • 7 – the percentage of Australians that speak Chinese at home
  • 2 – the percentage of Australians born in China

What’s happening in Australia this year?

Aside from the City of Sydney’s Chinese New Year Festival – which is widely acknowledged as the largest outside of Asia and attracts more than a million people every year to it’s 80+ events, there is an abundance of various events and celebrations across the country.

Marketing opportunity – Many Asians are deeply culturally rooted and attend Lunar New Year celebrations to stay in touch with their culture. Such events mark a unique opportunity for savvy marketers to target these diaspora in Australia during a time when they are particularly receptive. Festival sponsorships, event activations, launching of bespoke products and more all work very well during this time.

Here’s a (brief, alphabetical) roundup of some of Lunar New Year events and festivals happening in Sydney and Melbourne in 2018 to herald the Year of the Dog. Interested in driving your brand forward among the Chinese audience during the Lunar New Year? Contact MultiConnexions today for more information.

Ashfield LNY – Uncommon Feast

Organiser:        Inner West Council
Date:                Wednesday, 7 February 2018
Time:                6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Location:          Ashfield Town Hall, Ashfield

Lunar New Year celebrations, literary discussions, Chinese tea and refreshments, book signings and a traditional Chinese guzheng performance 

Bayside Council Lunar New Year

Organiser:        Bayside Council
Date:                Saturday, 17 Feb
Time:                4pm – 9pm
Location:          Dacey Gardens, Kingsford

Music, food, dance, workshops, lion dances and cultural celebrations

Blacktown Lunar New Year

Organiser:        Blacktown City Council
Date:                Friday, 16 February 2018
Time:                5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Location:          Chang Lai Yuan Chinese Gardens, Nurragingy Reserve

Cultural entertainment, food and market stalls, Paw Patrol Kids Show, jumping castle, lantern making, fan decorating, calligraphy, origami, lion dance and fireworks

Box Hill Chinese New Year

Date:                Saturday, 17 February 2018
Time:                11:00 am to 11:00 pm
Location:          Main St, Box Hill

Visitors will experience Chinese Lion Dance, Firecrackers, Traditional Folk Music, Dancers, Martial Artists and much more.

Chatswood Chinese New Year Festival

Organiser:        Willoughby Council
Date:                Saturday 24 February 2018
Time:                10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Location:          Chatswood Mall and The Concourse

Lion and dragon dances, kung fu, acrobatics and magic shows, folk dances, specialty stalls with Chinese products and food, promotional gifts

Darling Harbour Chinese New Year

Organiser:        Chinese Garden of Friendship
Date:                Saturday 17 February to Sunday, 4 March 2018
Time:                Daytime
Location:          Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour

Tai chi, lion dancing, watercolour painting, tea ceremony, demonstrations, deep laughing workshops, children’s Emperor’s Quest garden tour, lantern decorating

Georges River Council Lunar New Year Festival

Organiser:        Georges River Council (Kogarah and Hurstville)
Date:                Saturday, 10 February 2018
Time:                10:00 am to 4:00 pm with an evening program
Location:          Forest Road

Stalls, activities and community performances and an evening concert

Glen Waverley Chinese New Year

Date:                Sunday, 25 February 2018
Time:                Day to evening
Location:          Glen Waverley, VIC

Visitors will experience Chinese Lion Dance, Firecrackers, Traditional Folk Music, Dancers, Martial Artists and much more.

Lane Cove Lunar New Year

Organiser:        Lane Cove Council
Date:                Friday, 23 February 2018
Time:                3:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Location:          Lane Cove Plaza

Live entertainment and activities including a Chinese lion dance, Japanese calligraphy, live music, creative workshops and more

Melbourne Chinatown Chinese New Year

Date:                Sunday 18 February 2018
Time:                Day to evening
Location:          Little Bourke St, Melbourne

Chinese Lion Dance, Firecrackers, Traditional Folk Music, Dancers, Martial Artists and much more.

Parramatta Lunar New Year

Organiser:        City of Parramatta
Date:                Friday, 16 February 2018
Time:                4:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Location:          Centenary Square, Parramatta City

Modern and traditional performances from China, Vietnam and Korea, activities and workshops on calligraphy, lantern making and cooking, food stalls, art installations, fireworks, dragon and lion dances.

Prairiewood Tet Lunar New Year Festival

Organiser:        Vietnamese Community in Australia (VCA)
Date:                Friday, 23 Feb – Sunday 25 Feb
Time:                Day-evening
Location:          Fairfield Showground, Smithfield Rd, Prairiewood

Annual fundraiser and largest Vietnamese celebration in the state, attracting over 60,000 visitors

Richmond Chinese New Year Festival

Date:                28 Jan
Time:                11:00 am to 10:00 pm
Location:          Victoria St, Richmond

Chinese Lion Dance, Firecrackers, Traditional Folk Music, Dancers, Martial Artists and much more.

Ryde Lunar New Year– 10th anniversary

Organiser:        City of Ryde
Date:                17, 24 February, 3 March 2018
Time:                Various timings
Location:          Eastwood Plaza, Eastwood Ryde

Key events include Grand Celebration Day, Cooking Competition, Night Markets

Saigon Place Lunar New Year
Organiser:        Canterbury-Bankstown City
Date:                Saturday, 10 February 2018
Time:                4:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Location:          Saigon Place, Bankstown

Entertainment, food, cultural exhibits, eating competition, dog competitions for best dressed and best tricks, fashion parades and lion dancing

Springvale Chinese New Year

Date:                Sunday, 11 February 2018
Time:                10:00 am to 10:00 pm
Location:          Springvale Shopping Precinct, bounded by Windsor Av, Buckingham Av & Balmoral Av

Entertainment, food, cultural exhibits, eating competition, dog competitions for best dressed and best tricks, fashion parades and lion dancing

If we have missed your event, please do drop us a line.

Headline image source – www.nbcnewyork.com

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