Chinese New Year
2011 - The Year of the Rabbit
Chinese New Year starts with the New Moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. The 15th day of the new year is called the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated at night with lantern displays and children carrying lanterns in a parade. The Chinese calendar is based on a combination of lunar and solar movements. The lunar cycle is about 29.5 days. In order to "catch up" with the solar calendar the Chinese insert an extra month once every few years (seven years out of a 19-yearcycle). This is the same as adding an extra day on leap year. This is why, according to the solar calendar, the Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year. New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are celebrated as a family affair, a time of reunion and thanksgiving.
An ancient custom which has an important role in Chinese New Year is Hong Bao. This involves gifting small red envelopes filled with "lucky money". These envelopes are given to children and unmarried adults by the married couples. The red color is considered to bring good fortune, and the money inside the envelope is used by them to buy holiday treats. Red envelope itself can be a powerful promotion tool in capturing the Chinese audience since it is a part of their culture.
Emulate "Hong Bao" In your Olive Oil Store
Want to celebrate this rich as ancient Holiday? Whether you're in a predominately Asian locale, or not - people tend to love the history that comes with holidays such as the Chinese New Year. Westerners have always shown a keen interest in Eastern culture, and this is a wonderful way to show cultural diversity in your own olive oil store.
Here are some tips to create a great Chinese New year at your Olive Oil Store:
1. Add small, red neck tag options to your bottles of olive oils and vinegars upon request. Showcase a few in the front window of your store, and perhaps with a sign out front. The small red envelopes that are tradtionally used for "Hong Bao" gift-giving are generally ornate with nice letting such as one shown above.
2. If you can advertise in Chinese lettering and English lettering that you feature great Chinese New Years gifts with a red envelope on the sign, you are sure to get a response.
3. Depending on your location and it's diversity, you could feature staple Chinese New Year gifts such as ornate fans, dragon figures, and more. For some Chinese New Year gift inspiration, check out this site
4. Feature some nice asian art in your window and near Chinese New Year promo sections. Anything red is appropriate for this special holiday, and while it seems busy, this holiday is all about festive, bright colors and new beginnings.
5. Customize the red envelope into a promotional item, and many consumers will be exposed to your brand as they take it during Chinese New Year. You can put a coupon in the red envelope as well so people will know about your company and the products you are selling. This is a great promotional strategy during the Chinese New Year.
6. In some cities, the city or Chamber of Commerce holds elaborate, festive events for the Chinese New Year. These events feature vendors that sell items such as food, clothes, snacks, and gifts. They also feature anywhere from hundreds to thousands of people who are celebrating the joy of a New Year. If you're looking to increase your audience, take a small tasting bar to one of these events, and even offer cooking ideas, health information (Asians are traditionally known to be quite health concious), as well as tri-folds with olive oil tasting strategies and culturally-relevant data and information that you'd think they would find useful.
7. If your store happens to carry specialty oils, Sesame Oil and Peanut Oil are two asian cooking oil staples that would be great to feature with traditional Chinese New Year recipe cards nearby.