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How to Bring Chinese New Year to the Office

The year of the dog is upon us and if you have any loyal, dependable, courageous colleagues who were born in 1958, 1970, 1982 or 1994 celebrating Chinese New Year is a must. The UK is home to one of Europe’s largest Chinese populations, with deep cultural roots for British Chinese. Here’s how you can bring Chinese New Year (16 February 2018) into the office.

Serve up Mandarin Oranges

Mandarin Oranges are considered a symbol of good fortune, prosperity and a long life. Chinese superstitions and rituals are largely based on words, shapes and numbers that represent something deeper — dumplings shaped like ancient gold nuggets are lucky to eat, the number 4 is avoided in floor plans because “four” sounds similar to “death”, and Mandarin Oranges bring financial prosperity because the Chinese word for Mandarin (kam) sounds similar to “gold”.

Order a fruit platter from OfficeServe to display and enjoy at an upcoming meeting. We’ll deliver a delightfully vibrant platter of whole fresh pieces of fruit including red and green apples, ripe pears, sweet satsumas (yep, those are Mandarin Oranges!), bananas, and seasonal red grapes.

Give a sentimental bonus (red envelope)

This doesn’t need to break the bank, in fact, this can be a symbolic chocolate coin. The point is to pass out a red envelope with a real or symbolic financial value for Chinese New Year. Many companies in Asia even give back money to customers in red envelopes on CNY. For example, a bus company might reimburse a nominal portion of the ticket just for good luck. Focus on the symbolic practice of giving red envelope rather than giving a sum of value. Whatever you do, don’t give £4 or 4 coins!  

Team clean, remove that desk clutter

If the 1st of January 1st didn’t kick things off with that new year feeling, Chinese New Year is a second opportunity at a fresh start. So it’s in with the old, out with new all over again. “Sweeping the dust” represents a wish to put old things away, say goodbye to the past year and welcome positive change. Take this opportunity to clear off your desk and hit that recycling bin double time! Organise messy files, give your keyboard and screen an overdue dusting, and rid yourself of unnecessary desk clutter.

Decorate your office

Without being counterintuitive to the spring clean stage of Chinese New Year add some celebratory (and temporary) decorations to your office. This might be in the form of a Mandarin Orange tree or elegant Chinese Paper Cuttings to decorate the windows. Add festive colours of red and gold to the office or decorate yourself by wearing a red blazer or golden tie.

Whatever you do, remember that Chinese New Year is about celebrating together and eating good food. So gather your team and make sure there’s plenty of food!

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