Taiwan Chinese New Year 2023

While living in Taiwan, I got to see how offices celebrate their first day back to work after Chinese New Year holidays. This year was a long holiday for many, totalling 9 days of festivities (20-29 January 2023).

The ritual includes prayer offerings in the front of the office building, joss sticks, incense paper being burned and oftentimes, fire crackers are set off at the end. Glimpsing what are being offered – fresh fruits, cakes, instant noodles, snacks/chips and cool drinks seem to top the list. I presume these are also easier to distribute to the staff later, as after prayer, these items are considered lucky and filled with good wishes.

The process includes moments where employees are chatting and catching up, waiting for the cue to the next step. Some employees are also happily holding red packets, which must have been monetary gifts from their boss. Some might see this as religious and even superstition but I see it as tradition and culture. I love the vibe that this ritual creates, starting off the new year on the right and same footing.

My reason for writing about this isn’t just to narrate what the local culture is here in Taiwan, but to remind us that a great start to the year is important. It signifies moving ahead together with common goals and a positive mindset. We are reminded to build upon the relationships and experience. In case the event also include divine support and a showering of fortune, good health and happiness, why not?

My only caution is that you don’t limit office culture building to this ritual and be like the deafening but short-lived crackling sounds of the fire crackers! True progress comes from a continuous supportive and engaging environment in which everyone has a role. The impact of the organisation should also benefit internally and externally - customers, end users and the community in which the organisation operates.

Only then will the achievements be worthwhile and the days-weeks-months well spent. Take time to celebrate along the way, recharge and bask in the well wishes till the next Lunar New Year comes around.

Stand Your Ground