Chinese New Year is celebrated around the world. Locally it is known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, it is the most important festival in China and a major annual event in some Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Korea and Vietnam. It is the festival that celebrates the beginning of a new lunisolar calendar year, of which the rotation of the months is based on moon cycles.

This year, Chinese New Year falls on Sunday, January 22, starting a new Year of the Rabbit. The rabbit, which is the fourth in the twelve-year cycle of animals that appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar, symbolizes longevity, positivity, auspiciousness, wittiness, cautiousness, cleverness, deftness and self-protection.

The festival goes back thousands of years and is a time to celebrate and spend time with family members. Traditions and celebratory meals can vary from region to region, some include the thorough cleaning of one's home, watching a lion dance performance, giving red envelopes, reunion dinner with family on New Year's Eve, or putting up decorations such as paper cuttings and Fai Chun (traditional Chinese calligraphy consisting of strips of red paper with messages of good luck and prosperity).

We celebrate Chinese New Year across all of our offices, but particularly so in Hong Kong and Singapore. Alongside a series of celebratory events, we are also raising funds for our charity partners Feeding Hong Kong and TOUCH Community Services, through a series of Fai Chun writing sessions and paper cutting workshops. We are also presenting a gift, which is an artwork made up of paper cutting patterns from our staff, to TOUCH Community Services when they visit our Singapore office on Wednesday, January 25.

From all of us at Withers, Gong Xi Fa Cai (wishing you prosperity in the coming year) and Xing Fu An Kang (wishing you peace and happiness).

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