Chinese new year is a time for celebration across the Asia Pacific and the coming weekend will undoubtedly be full of feasts and festivities to bring in the year of Rooster. YouGov, as one of the world’s leading research firms, polled over 7,000 residents across seven countries to find out what’s in store.
The most popular way to spend the new year is to have dinner with family, which half of those polled (50%) intend to do. Other popular ways to spend the holiday include watching TV (44%), cleaning the house (43%) and visiting friends or relatives (43%).
The practice of exchanging red envelopes is most common in Hong Kong and Vietnam, where 63% and 64% of those polled (respectively) are preparing to give and/or receive envelopes; well above the regional average of 35%.
A quarter of respondents (25%) will also be decorating their homes, though different decorations are favoured in different countries. While dui lian is the most popular decoration in China (where 88% of those decorating their houses will adorn them with dui lian), upside down fu is the top choice in Hong Kong and Singapore (67% and 54%), lanterns are the favourite decoration in Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand (65%, 64% and 66%), and paintings the first choice for those in Vietnam (61%).
Festive food also differs by country. Fish is the firm favourite in China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, where 89%, 85%, 72%, 87% and 79% (respectively) will be tucking into some fish. In Hong Kong, more residents will be eating turnip cakes (78%), and in Vietnam it’s pork (89%). However, tastes converged around fish, which will be eaten by 78% of those polled over the Chinese new year period. Other favourite festive foods that are popular across the region include tangerines/oranges (to be eaten by 63% of respondents over the holiday), pork (62%) and sweets (59%).
Most respondents will spend the new year with family; 70% of those polled will spend time with parents over new year, 49% with their partner and 46% with their siblings. However, in-laws are not looking too popular as just one fifth (21%) of respondents will be seeing their partner’s family.
29% of new year’s e-greetings will be sent over instant messaging services
There’s been a shift in technology for those wanting to wish loved ones well over the new year season. The most popular means of sending new year’s messages across the region is over instant messaging services such as WhatsApp and WeChat (29%), social media (25%) and SMS (25%). Meanwhile, sending greetings cards by post will be used by just 6%, emails 12% and e-cards 13%.
However, trends differ by country. While instant messaging is most popular in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore, SMS is most popular in China and Vietnam, whereas Thailand and the Philippines prefer social media.
Data was collected from research among YouGov’s panelists and was weighted to be representative of online population. Sample size: Asia Pacific (n = 7,606; China: 1,019; Hong Kong: 1,005; Malaysia: 1,249; Philippines: 1,097; Singapore: 1,070; Thailand: 1,156; Vietnam: 1,010)