Chinese New Year is celebrated by Chinese people all over the world to mark the first day of the New Year in the Lunar calendar, which differs from the Gregorian calendar. It is also known as the Lunar New Year. The Lunar New Year commemorates the start of a year in which the months are coordinated by the cycles of the moon.
For many, the Chinese New Year means preparation for a new season. Spring cleaning is common during this time, and many households will conduct a thorough cleaning before the Chinese New Year begins. Chinese New Year is a national holiday in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Singapore. Nearly everyone returns home for Chinese New Year. For some families, it is the only time each year that the entire family will be together. The Chinese New Year celebrations can last for about 15 days.
One of the traditional customs during Chinese New Year is that children are given red envelopes containing money. These red envelopes are more commonly known as red packets (紅包, hóngbāo) to the Chinese. Children look forward to receiving these red packets, which are given in lieu of gifts. Family members and friends also traditionally offer well wishes and greetings to bless one another.
This year, the Strengths School™ team decided to mark 2016's Chinese New Year by designing novel red packets in accordance with some of the Strengthsfinder themes. Ideation is the most common theme found within our team, and we are fuelled by innovation and creativity to remain on the cutting edge! As a team, we also wanted to bring out the unique flavours found in some of the Strengthsfinder themes and create an understanding of how some traditional Chinese blessings are linked to the themes. There is no prize for guessing that Connectedness is also one of the team’s most common themes.
Where can you find the Strengthsfinder themes during Chinese New Year?
成就 (chéngjiù) is the Chinese word for the Strengthsfinder theme ‘Achiever.’ People who have Achiever as one of their Signature themes will press in hard to complete their tasks of the day for that sense of accomplishment. It is interesting that Achiever is also the most common strength found among those who have taken the Strengthsfinder assessment globally.
The Chinese people are known to be one of the most hardworking people around the globe. It is common to hear Chinese people wishing each other success in the area of work. There is a Chinese New Year blessing that goes, "祝你来年好运，并取得更大的成就!" (zhùnǐ láinián hǎoyùn, bìng qǔdé gèng dà de chéngjiù). This blessing means to wish someone good luck and that they would achieve even greater success in the coming New Year.
Another common blessing that resonates with the Achiever theme is “祝你事业有成" (zhùnǐ shìyè yǒuchéng) which means to wish someone success in their career. The phrase “祝你学业有成" (zhùnǐ xuéyè yǒuchéng), wishing someone success in their studies, is used to bless the younger ones in the family.
和谐 (héxié) is the Chinese word for the Strengthsfinder theme ‘Harmony.’ People with Harmony as one of their Signature themes are those who enjoy collaboration. They are often people who bridge relationships between others. People with Harmony will try to be the peacemakers whenever conflicts arise. They are also good team players.
One blessing that emphasizes the Harmony theme is the phrase “和气生财" (héqì shēngcái). This phrase can be translated, "Harmony brings wealth." This phrase of blessing reminds us that collaboration is one of the key beliefs of Chinese culture. The Chinese people value relationships and believe collaborative relationships bring wealth and prosperity to businesses. Another phrase that epitomizes the Strengthsfinder Harmony theme is the Chinese idiom, '家和万事兴' (jiā hé wàn shì xīng). This phrase means if the family lives in harmony, all affairs will prosper. In Chinese culture, this is of utmost importance.
完美 (wánměi) is the Chinese word for the Strengthsfinder theme ‘Maximiser.’ People with Maximizer as one of their Signature themes are those who are committed to excellence. They are often seen as people who crave for perfection and beauty. They want the best results and will commit themselves to turn things from good to great.
The Chinese character ‘完’ (wán) means to complete. This character literally means a roof or house over two persons. Many believe it signifies the power of the marriage. The creation of the household is complete and made perfect in this union. During Chinese New Year, one of the blessings to be enjoyed is the prosperity of the marriage relationship, which is the foundation of strong households. The Chinese character ‘美’ (měi) means beauty. Interestingly, a Chinese idiom that is used to describe excellence and perfection is '十全十美' (shí quán shí měi).
关联 (guānlián) is the Chinese word for the Strengthsfinder theme ‘Connectedness.’ People with Connectedness as one of their Signature themes are those who understand the links of life. They believe that everything happens for a reason. They enjoy drawing connections between disparate events to learn life lessons. They also enjoy connecting different ideas and connecting to different people.
The Chinese character ‘联' (lián) means to ally, to unite, or to join. The idea of Connectedness is often emphasized in Chinese culture as the Chinese believe strongly in unity and in continuity. Chinese New Year is a time when families reconnect and link up to strengthen the bonds and ties of the family. Many travel back from distant places to reunite with their families over the Lunar New Year.
体谅 (tǐliàng) is the Chinese word for the Strengthsfinder theme ‘Empathy’. People with Empathy as one of their Signature themes are those whose hearts feel for others.' They intuitively seek to listen and understand how others feel. They are often seen to be compassionate and kind towards others.
The Chinese character ‘谅' (liàng) means to understand and to forgive. Often, as families come together during Chinese New Year, people put aside misgivings and grievances to celebrate the bonds of love that hold the family together. The traditional Chinese culture emphasizes the power and beauty of the family unit, and many elements in Chinese New Year celebrations commemorate the importance of family.
Hope you enjoyed this article! We, at Strengths School™, want to wish everyone a BLESSED CHINESE NEW YEAR. 新年快乐! 万事如意!
Written by Victor Seet
Activator • Communication • Strategic • Self-Assurance • Command
As a Gallup certified StrengthsFinder coach, Victor is passionate about strengths engagement and now runs his own training company, Strengths School™. He has been actively giving StrengthsFinder leadership and team building workshops to businesses and schools in Singapore as well as Hong Kong, China (Nanjing and Shanghai) and India. He also writes frequently on his blog (victor-seet.com).
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