Thursday, January 24, 2013

尾牙 Year End Party Tradition

Chinese businesses traditionally have a party at the end of the lunar year to thank the employees and to get better business for the coming year (businesses such as funeral homes, and medical-related companies don't do this because it's not good to hope for more business for them!). This year was my third time attending the Year End Party at the English company I work for, and the first time that I remembered to get the vegetarian option so I could eat more!

What do we do at the Year End Party? Well, there is a drawing with a LOT of winners! At this company, there is always gift cards for 新光三越/Mitzukoshi (it is a shopping center) that vary from NT$3000 to NT$20,000, and then also bonus prizes of cash, and awards such as Teacher of the Year, Award of Excellency, etc.

The Year End Party was at a location called Amazing Hall (yes, that's the real name!) where I assume a lot of wedding receptions take place because there were a lot of wedding-type structures for photography like this:

We also all got balloons this year and had to write our wish or dream on them. Unfortunately, I have an irrational fear of balloons
This is my personal hell!

How I looked on the outside:

How I felt on the inside:

The theme for this year was "So Nice of You" so some employees had written letters of thanks to coworkers and they were awarded with a chocolate medal and small prize.

As a part-time worker, I have never been eligible for the drawing, but we do get a red envelope with NT$600 worth of vouchers that can be used at a variety of places. I normally use mine at Starbucks and Mister Donut.

In between the courses of food, there was also a "guess that employee game" and a funny dance done by three of the guys from the company. Some companies hire entertainment, but our company just has employees do it haha!

We had an eight-course meal plus fruit at the end!
This is my vegetarian version:
Fancy fancy~

At the end of the party, everybody was supposed to burst their balloons to get the good-luck wish inside and see if they won NT$20,000, so I just ran out and chilled in the bathroom for a while. My boss popped mine for me. I didn't win a prize, but I still got a good-luck wish!

Here is the Wikipedia article if you would like to read more about it. My mom told me about how they used to have the chicken with its head pointing at the employee to be fired, but later, it became more common to have the bosses point it at themselves.

Does your workplace do anything to thank the employees? I think it's a lovely tradition to have a Year End Party.