Public Holidays – The days off you don’t want!
Holidays! You love them! We love them! They’re a special time that we can celebrate whatever it is that is being celebrated. Usually we get together with family and friends and leave work-life behind for a while. A little time away helps us to recharge, realign and rest. However, when you’re waiting desperately for an order to arrive, hearing that everyone has taken the day off is not welcome news. Below we’ve listed the most inconvenient public holidays that will get in your way – and are best factored in when you’re planning your promotional products.
Christmas and New Year
The biggest holiday in the western world warrants a week off on its own. With all the planning, shopping and then meal prep – you need the few days before. Then a couple of days after for recovery and getting the house back to normal. Soon after comes New Year’s Eve and the opportunity to celebrate the ending of a year and bring in the new.
With the two together, many people get two weeks off – from the weekend before Christmas to the Monday after New Year’s Day. Before taking their annual leave, they finish up what work they can and prepare for the new year. This may include processing your order. Or it may include processing the order that scraped in before yours, pushing yours to the new year.
Shipping over this period can also be dicey. Tis the season of giving and in our global society that means sending. Whether its local, state to state or overseas – people are using the post to capacity. The chances of delays are increased.
The lesson is: Get your Christmas and New Year’s merchandise and corporate gifts sorted well before December. Thinking of Christmas in September/October may be considered tacky, but if you’ve got big plans you cannot wait until the season rolls around.
Chinese New Year
The biggest holiday in the Chinese calendar is Chinese New Year. Its date is determined by both the lunar calendar and the solar calendar, which gives the holiday the other names – ‘Lunar New Year’ and ‘Spring Festival’. The first because it is celebrated on the second new moon after the winter solstice. The second because it signals the end of the coldest part of Winter and start of Spring, as determined by the sun’s longitude.
The holiday lasts approximately 15 days. In 2023 it begins on the 22nd of January and goes until the 27th. Chinese New Year is celebrated with red (for luck) decorations, food (particularly fish and dumplings) and being together with family.
Like Christmas and New Year, Chinese industry takes a break for their holiday. Work is wrapped up and suspended as people all over the country travel home to their parents and relatives to begin the holiday. The Reunion Dinner is done on Chinese New Year’s Eve and is a big event. This mass movement is called Chunyun and equates to 2.5 billion trips over the whole New Year season.
Factories close officially for the duration of Chinese New Year but can remain closed for the month surrounding the holiday. If your product is being made in China, it’s best to avoid ordering in mid-January and February to avoid delays. If you do require products in the first quarter, save yourself some stress and order before November. It may seem like an unnecessarily long lead time, but it will guarantee your order is manufactured and dispatched before the holidays begin.
State and Local Public Holidays
Melbourne Cup Day
Celebrated Australia wide, Melbourne Cup Day is only a public holiday in Victoria. They get the full 24 hours, while the rest of the country get the three minutes, thirty seconds at 3pm. Because of the public holiday, no orders can be received, processed or dispatched from our Melbourne factories or warehouse. It’s less of a disaster and more of an inconvenience and definitely something we can work around if we have a bit of time.
Another inconvenience is the show day. Almost every state and town has one. Some are one- to three-day affairs, while the major cities can take two weeks to get through all the events and proceedings. In most cases there is just the one day set aside as a public holiday for people to go and have a look. So, like Melbourne Cup Day above, it’s not a big deal if your product order coincides with a show day. It may affect our factories and warehouses, but only for a day. We can work around it most of the time.
When to order
Avoiding the busy season is a sure-fire way to keep out of trouble. So, order your Christmas promo and end-of-year corporate gifts in September or October, at the latest. Your early Spring merchandise should be ordered well before Christmas to avoid interruption by Chinese New Year.
We’ll let you know if any of these will impact your order. As we’ve said before in many of our previous articles – the longer lead time we’re given, the easier it is to navigate any delays, holidays and unforeseen circumstances. If you’ve got an event coming up, start thinking about the products you’ll need well in advance. Keep the public holidays in mind and be sure to give your order a three-month lead time just to make sure you get what you need by the time you need it.