Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year 2020

The Year of the Rat begins on 25 January and is the first in a new Chinese zodiac cycle. The rat is considered quick-witted, resourceful and smart – qualities that airports, travel retailers, restaurateurs and brands have called upon in their celebrations of Lunar New Year. This special pictorial feature showcases some of the best promotions, activations, events and product launches in what is a key trading period for our industry. Compiled by Jason Holland.

Enter the labyrinth

DFS Group is marking Lunar New Year with a series of promotions, exclusive offers and activities at downtown T Galleria and airport stores worldwide.

DFS store windows feature the retailer’s own design twist on a labyrinth, depicting the words ‘happiness’ and ‘rat’ in Chinese characters, with DFS exclusive products from Tiffany & Co, Clinique, Tom Ford, Moncler and Prada on display.

DFS is hosting a range of activities for customers to experience local traditions celebrating Lunar New Year all over the world. These vary by location and include an auspicious Lion Dance, live music performances and gifting through a personalised Spring Couplet in-store as well as various promotions and exclusive offers. Activities run until 16 February.

“Lunar New Year is one of the world’s most celebrated festivals and is a time for family, friends, giving, happiness and good fortune,” said DFS Group Executive Vice President Merchandising Ariel Gentzbourger.”

DFS Group is dressing its windows and stores with eye-catching tributes to the Year of the Rat, supported by brand partners

Launching Lunar New Year

Lagardère Travel Retail has launched a series of promotions and activations across Greater China, Asia Pacific and Europe.

At Hong Kong International Airport, discount coupons are being offered at stores such as Relay, Discover, Lego, Monocle and across fashion brands. Festive products including cookies and puddings have also launched, while a lion dance will take place on 29 January.

Special Lunar New Year menus and dishes are being served at food & beverage outlets such as Dean & Deluca, King Bakery and Bless Juice.

Across Chinese airports, Lagardère Travel Retail has launched a special promotion which includes a gift with purchase (GWP), lucky draws and vouchers for its WeChat customer relationship management programme Boulevard du Luxe. The Boulevard du Luxe page has also been promoting Year of the Rat fashion items.

At 13 Aelia Duty Free stores in six countries in Europe, Lagardère Travel Retail has launched offers, discounts, GWP promotions and a series of instore and digital activations. A WeChat cashback campaign in Rome and Nice offers four different gift packets containing various coupons when customers use WeChat Pay. Lottery tickets offered in Rome, Prague, Geneva and Warsaw give travellers access to exclusive Lunar New Year offers when they scan the QR code on the ticket.

The Lunar New Year campaign continues throughout airports in Australia and New Zealand, with WeChat games and ‘play & win’ prizes, as well as exclusive products and offers.

Lagardère Travel Retail’s Aelia Duty Free stores in Europe feature extensive New Year promotions and decorations

Orchestrating a classic celebration

Dubai Duty Free has welcomed the Year of the Rat with a series of promotional activities across Dubai International (DXB) and Al Maktoum International Airport.

The promotions include a Chinese Wishing Tree initiative. Customers spending AED 888 (US$242) can win duty free goods worth up to AED 8,000 (US$2,178) by hanging their wish list on a tree in the Concourse C Control Tower of DXB. Six winners will be drawn over the Lunar New Year period.

Dubai Duty Free has also teamed up with UPI and Alipay to offer discounts until 29 February. Every customer that spends AED 1,500 (US$408) on perfumes & cosmetics with UPI will get a fixed discount of AED 75 (US$20). Users of Alipay will get an instant saving of CNY 50 (US$7) for every single purchase of CNY 1,200 (US$174).

Followers of Dubai Duty Free on WeChat and Weibo have been offered a discount of up to -25% on selected brands including Dior, Benefit, Goldkenn and Tag Heuer for the whole of January.

Officials from Dubai Duty Free and the Chinese Consulate attended a memorable ceremony in DXB’s Terminal 3 on 21 January to celebrate the New Year. The celebration began with a performance from the Chinese Philharmonic Youth Orchestra of the Chinese song ‘Me & My Motherland China’. Consul General Li Xuhang then took part in the latest Millennium Millionaire and Finest Surprise draws.

Officials from Dubai Duty Free, including Executive Vice Chairman & CEO Colm McLoughlin and COO Ramesh Cidambi, and the Chinese Consulate then participated in a series of events at the Concourse C Control Tower. These included a ceremonial cake cutting, tea making ceremony and calligraphy show while the Chinese Philharmonic Youth Orchestra played a Chinese New Year song.

Officials from both Dubai Duty Free and the Chinese Consulate took part in special ceremony to celebrate the Year of the Rat

Lighting up the sky

In a first for the travel retail industry, Lotte Duty Free and Lancôme kicked off Lunar New Year celebrations with a surprise drone and light show in South Korea.

The dazzling drone event featured illuminated white mice to symbolise Gyeongjanyeon (‘Gyeong’ meaning white, and ‘ja’ meaning mouse) or ‘The Year of the White Mouse’, as it is known in the country.

The retailer is also celebrating its 40th anniversary year and projection mapping was used to light up Lotte World Tower with the anniversary logo of Lotte Duty Free (designed by UK pop artist Stephen Wilson) and Lancôme’s rose symbol.

The horticulture displays at Changi feature these cute mice. It is the ‘Year of the White Mouse’ in many countries.

Hunting for treasure at Changi

Singapore Changi Airport has put the focus on family activities for its Year of the Rat celebrations.

Themed horticulture displays in T2 Departure South and T3 B2 Garden, which run until the end of February, provide photo opportunities. The tallest installation measures three metres, while mice dressed in traditional Chinese costumes are on hand to welcome visitors with lucky ingots and auspicious New Year greetings. The horticulture displays are spread around 17 locations and are decorated with red and yellow plants to add to the festive spirit.

The airport is also encouraging visitors to embark on a treasure hunt. In conjunction with online tax and duty free store, the QR Code Treasure Hunt is available in Terminal 3 until 9 February. Players must solve a riddle to guess where the hidden treasures might be, then scan the corresponding QR code on the rotating luggage belt of zodiac animals to reveal the grand prize.

Treasure hunt winners will receive S$50 Changi gift cards, Chow Tai Fook Year of the Rat gold coins (worth S$50), iShopChangi e-vouchers or other items. is also offering site-wide discounts during the festive season (until 16 February) with minimum spend.

Jewel Changi shoppers can also participate in an online game to stand a chance to win shopping vouchers.

Food & beverage outlets such as A-One Signature, Paradise Dynasty, Peach Garden and Soup Restaurant Heritage are serving reunion dinner set menus for families. Herit8ge, at Jewel’s Canopy Park, is offering an eight-course dining experience under the stars.

Other New Year activities include DIY handicraft activities, photo opportunities with themed props, roving lion dance troupes, and a God of Fortune mascot.

From retail treasure hunts to special themed dishes, there are plenty of ways to celebrate at Changi

A special welcome

Chinese passengers are very important to Helsinki Airport, which has positioned itself as a hub between Europe and Asia. A +18.2% increase in passengers was recorded on flights to and from China and Hong Kong in 2019, to 659,000.

The airport’s Aukio area, a central hub for the transfer of non-Schengen passengers, will be themed to New Year celebrations, with special signage and balloons. Chinese passengers will be welcomed personally on 25 January and will be given red envelopes containing golden chocolate coins and other themed-coloured sweets.

Additionally, passengers can redeem a special gift from Chinese guides when they collect a special rat themed sticker-card from participating stores. Themed decorations and POS activations will feature throughout the airport’s stores.

Dancing and decorating

Spectacular dances and decorations form the core of London Heathrow Airport’s Lunar New Year celebrations.

Lion Dance performances will take place across the terminals on 24 and 25 January, while traditional Chinese dancers will visit terminals 3 and 4 on the same days. A Money God will roam the terminals in the build-up to New Year, handing out a £2.50 voucher for World Duty Free stores and some traditional Chinese sweets.

Travellers can also place a wishing card on the colourful cherry blossom trees in each terminal, or pick up Chinese horoscope bookmarks and do-it-yourself origami flowers at shopping and dining information desks after security.

Heathrow has also launched a New Year competition. The first 20 clients to book a personal shopping appointment using the promo code ‘LNY20’ will receive £50 of Heathrow vouchers to spend during their appointment.

A Heathrow Rewards Lunar New Year offer is also running. Passengers who spend more than £1,500 in a single transaction will receive 888 bonus Heathrow Rewards points, in a promotion running until 10 February.

Full bloom: Cherry blossom trees feature in each terminal at London Heathrow

A rewarding New Year

Hong Kong International Airport is offering travellers a selection of rewards. Passengers who spend HK$2,000 or more in one day using electronic payment at the airport (until 2 February) will receive e-coupons worth up to HK$15,000. If they are Alipay or AlipayHK users, they will receive an additional bonus of up to HK$600 when making payment.

Passengers can also collect the ‘CNY Offer Coupon Booklet’, which includes a range of coupon discounts worth over HK$8,000 from different shops at Hong Kong International.

Shilla’s big play

The Shilla Duty Free has unveiled a series of dazzling decorations and promotions across its stores.

Highlights at Beauty&You in Hong Kong International Airport include the launch of the exclusive L’Absolu Rouge Valentine’s Day Limited Edition Lipstick Set from Lancôme, the debut of cruelty-free skincare brand First Aid Beauty, and the Beauty&You Lunar New Year Lucky Draw. Until 5 February and for a minimum purchase of HK$1,200 in a single transaction, customers can win cash coupons ranging from HK$28 to HK$228 and up to HK$8,888.

At Singapore Changi Airport, a pair of games are adding excitement and engagement.

Travellers spending a minimum of S$350 there can use a Gashapon machine [a vending-type machine that dispenses capsule toys], with the chance to win one of four Samsung Galaxy Note 10s, brand coupons and vouchers. Customers can also claim a free holographic makeup brush set when spending a minimum of S$350.

Separately, Shilla has partnered with Clinique for a plinko [slot] game. Passengers can play with a minimum spend of S$198 and can win prizes from Clinique.

Beauty&You by The Shilla Duty Free kicked off its Lunar New Year celebrations with a series of beauty exclusives and activations

Meeting Miffy

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has teamed up with Dutch icon Miffy [a rabbit that features in picture books drawn and written by Dutch artist Dick Bruna] to celebrate the New Year, welcoming passengers from China as they arrive.

Travellers are also being given lucky red envelopes with a good fortune message, sweet treats and a discount voucher.

In cooperation with Union Pay and Mercis, the airport is offering a gift with purchase featuring three different Miffy gifts – a keychain, double cups and a Miffy. The item received depends on the amount spent.

Schiphol is also home to many entertaining activations that aim to surprise Chinese passengers. These include a Miffy Meet & Greet, a free Miffy postcard service, and a Golden Miffy statue.

The campaign is supported by airlines as well as digital partners including WeChat, Qyer and Weibo.

Colourful welcome: Cartoon character Miffy is the focus of celebrations at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

AirAsia’s great catch

AirAsia has launched a mobile game called ‘Points Catcher’ as it seeks to reward members in the run up to Lunar New Year. The airline is also celebrating the tenth year of operations for its BIG Loyalty programme in 2020.

AirAsia will give away more than six million BIG points until Lunar New Year eve (24 January) in the game. Members of the loyalty programme can log in to the AirAsia BIG mobile app to play the game, which is inspired by the traditional arcade claw machine.

A daily ‘BIG points multiplier’ will increase and multiply the number of points won on a particular day, which increases with consecutive daily log ins.

Painting the airport red

DXB has a packed programme of celebrations featuring food, shopping, giveaways and live entertainment.

Passengers travelling through Terminal 3 can join 200 million people around the world in watching live footage of the Chinese New Year Gala, which features Chinese opera, lion dances and acrobatics. DXB’s live streaming will be broadcasted on the big screen in the picnic area near Gate B26 from 4pm to 8.30pm on 24 January via Chinese Central Television Middle East (CCTV ME).

In the same area, entertainment will continue with a calligrapher, Chinese-themed acrobatic displays from La Perle – courtesy of Dubai Shopping Festival – as well as a performance from Chinese singer Joey Jia. La Perle and Jia will also perform for passengers at Terminal 1 in the evening of 25 January.

Many stores and restaurants are offering giveaways such as discount vouchers and gifts inside red envelopes, while the new Plaza Premium Lounge is embracing the Chinese notion of ‘lucky eight’ by giving away the same number of free passes. Many restaurants are also offering themed New Year menus and dishes.

Aside from the decorations and exclusive products offered by Dubai Duty Free (covered elsewhere in this article), Hard Rock Cafe in Terminal 3 is offering a limited edition Chinese New Year T-shirt, while the new Marks & Spencer pop-up is selling boxes of themed chocolates during the festival.

DXB is also implementing a range of services for Chinese passengers, including a special Mandarin edition of the airport’s Time Out DXB magazine. Customers that connect to the airport Wi-fi can listen to free Chinese music with a dedicated playlist powered by Anghami.

Star appeal: Chinese singer Joey Jia will perform at DXB as part of a packed programme of entertainment

A stylish pop-up

Gebr Heinemann has partnered with Lancôme and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad to open a stylish and vibrantly red Lunar New Year-themed pop-up store at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Located in KLIA2, it is the retailer’s first pop-up store in Kuala Lumpur by Lancôme.

Art and culture to the fore

Ever Rich Duty Free has partnered with new-generation paper carving artist Cheng-Ruohan to mark Lunar New Year at four airports. In line with the airport’s strategy, the celebrations reflect Taiwan’s art and culture.

Cheng-Ruohan has worked with government institutions to bring new looks to public facilities. With Ever Rich, his work features at Taipei Songshan Airport as well as at Taoyuan, Taichung and Kaohsiung airports.

A limited-edition Ever Rich-exclusive shopping bag was launched on 12 January and will be available until 12 February. Its design elements include the Ever Rich pre-order website, with astronauts as the main character, and features the airports’ shopping and customer services.

The Ever Rich line-up also includes Lunar New Year photo points and decorations and calligraphy events with a souvenir beer glass, with a paper-cut pattern designed by Cheung-Rohan, for passengers.

According to Ever Rich, the 143ml glass is used in local restaurants and at traditional Taiwanese wedding and funerals. It originated in the 1940s and is regarded as a cultural symbol.

Faster than light: Ever Rich Duty Free’s New Year celebrations feature bright, eye-catching touches at Taoyuan International Airport

Spirit of beauty

A dazzling Lunar New Year animation from Lancôme has taken centre stage at Hamad International Airport.

Qatar Duty Free has partnered with L’Oréal Travel Retail, Qatar Tourism Council (QNTC) and Qatar Airways for the launch, with an opening event on 22 January featuring a thrilling lion dance performance.

Lancôme’s pop-up is dressed in festive red and offers an engaging interactive shopping experience that includes traditional Chinese lanterns and an interactive digital screen. Customers can also purchase a limited-edition red bottle of the Lancôme’s Advanced Génifique Serum, one of the brand’s hero products.

Qatar Duty Free is also celebrating Lunar New Year by offering a -20% discount for purchases of US$200 or more, while customers can also receive free flash makeup sessions and exclusive gifts via the retailer’s lucky ‘red envelopes’.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive and QNTC Secretary General, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker (left) and His Excellency Zhou Jian, Chinese Ambassador to the State of Qatar (right) pose for a photo with the lion dancers at Hamad International

Partner's message


The Moodie Davitt eZine

Issue 275 | 23 January 2020

The Moodie Davitt eZine is published 20 times per year by The Moodie Davitt Report (Moodie International Ltd).

© All material is copyright and cannot be reproduced without the permission of the Publisher.

To find out more visit and to subscribe, please e-mail