Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is a traditional time to send greetings in many Asian countries. This year it is celebrated on February 7, the beginning of the Year of the Rat in the Chinese Zodiac. Many people return home to families and have a week or more vacation, just like the Western Christmas or Thanksgiving holidays. Greeting cards are often ornate, and convey wishes of good fortune and good health in the New Year, which is based on the Lunar calendar.
For Asian friends, sending New Year greetings will have a special meaning, because it shows understanding of a special time in their year, much as Holiday cards here recognize Western traditions. For business associates as well, sending Chinese New Year cards is auspicious, wishing that the New Year will be prosperous and beneficial.
In 2008, the year of the Beijing Olympic Games, it is a perfect time to share a bit of Chinese culture with friends who may be tempted to find out more about the lunar calendar, Chinese Zodiac, and Spring Festival, as well as other Chinese culture.
Here are some e-card and printable card sites which can help you send cards to your friends, near and far. As the world gets smaller, understanding each other’s culture and celebrating with each other becomes more important, and very enjoyable!
Some English-based sites which offer e-cards including Chinese New Year are 123Greetings.com which also has a section for cards in Chinese, Chinesenewyearcards.com, and egreetings.com. Paper card maker Blue Mountain Arts also offers e-cards for Chinese New Year.
Printable Chinese New Year cards are an option if you can’t find cards in the local store. A site in the UK offers connections at Activity Village, and MSN’s collaboration with American Greetings has a section devoted to Chinese New Year as well. You can find a list of more printable Chinese New Year cards at Associated Content.
If you speak Chinese, here are two options: Disney in China offers e-cards in Chinese, and Hewlett-Packard’s Chinese Division has Chinese New Year offerings as well.