Each year in the Chinese calendar is represented by one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. February 10 2013 marks the Chinese New Year and heralds the beginning of the Year of the Snake.
Chinese New Year is a national or regional holiday in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand but is celebrated by Chinese communities all over the world. In London celebrations are some of the largest outside Asia, with large crowds descending on the West End to wish each other “Kung Hei Fat Choi” (Happy New Year).
Chinese New Year in London

The Chinese New Year festivities begin in the morning with a parade from Trafalgar Square, including colourful floats and traditional dragon and lion dancers making their way through the West End with stage performances and special guests along the way.
A second stage on Shaftesbury Avenue hosts performances from local community groups and schools. Over the years the stage has seen everything from fashion shows and plays to Chinese hip-hop artists.

Chinatown lies at the heart of the festivities with food and craft stalls lining the streets and a lion dance snaking through the crowds, stopping at restaurants to wish the owners good luck for the coming year.

The day culminates in a stunning fireworks display to mark the end of the day’s celebrations.
If you are in London over this period, you can find out more information about the planned festivities at http://www.visitlondon.com.

Managing assignments during Chinese New Year

The actual date of Chinese New Year varies every year (based on lunar and solar calendars) but always falls between late January and mid-February.

China’s most important festive period effectively shuts down the country’s manufacturing and production system for a week. International trade flows are disrupted, traditionally seeing peaks in the purchase of goods and services before the Chinese New Year, with activity declining as some 250 million factory workers return to their hometowns to take part in the festivities.
It is one of the busiest travel periods and it is worth bearing in mind the potential delays which may be experienced in obtaining visas, booking accommodation or even shipping household goods during this time, but with planning and consultation with your relocation provider, any disruption can be minimised.

BTR International wishes all of our friends, clients and partners a Happy Chinese New Year!

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