The 2017 Lunar New Year celebrates the Year of the Rooster.
The 2017 Lunar New Year celebrates the Year of the Rooster.
History
February 3, 2017

Slideshow: 100+ years of celebrating Lunar New Year

A Wells Fargo historian shares how the company has celebrated the Chinese lunar calendar since 1912.

Lunar New Year, which marks the start of the Chinese lunar calendar, represents weeks of celebration with fireworks, parades, and private moments of housecleaning and preparation for the year ahead. The 2017 Lunar New Year began on Jan. 28.

The lunar calendar uses the cycles of the moon to track time. Twelve cycles complete a year and bring the start of the spring season. Each year is associated with one of 12 animals; 2017 is the Year of the Rooster.

Wells Fargo’s 2017 lunar calendar celebrates the Year of the Rooster.
Wells Fargo’s 2017 lunar calendar celebrates the Year of the Rooster.

For more than a century, Wells Fargo has produced a unique calendar to celebrate the Lunar New Year with customers and team members. The calendar has been designed by various artists over the years. The 2017 calendar features the traits associated with people born during the Year of the Rooster: honesty, enthusiasm, and loyalty.

The Wells Fargo Corporate Archives has a large collection of the bank’s Chinese-language calendars, dating back to the earliest-known calendar printed in 1912. The designs and styles have changed over time, but these calendars demonstrate Wells Fargo’s historic and continued commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Early Chinese lunar calendars used black-and-white photos and colorful illustrations.
On this 1923 calendar featuring a Wells Fargo stagecoach, the characters in green mark the days according to the lunar calendar.
By the 1940s, the calendars used original designs created in China.
The 1945 calendar is the earliest existing calendar in the collection from the Year of the Rooster.
Over time, the calendars sometimes featured historic Asian art and artifacts instead of original designs.
In 1971, four Chinese characters (rich, country, money, house) were chosen to represent Wells Fargo because a San Francisco bank manager in Chinatown said they appealed to the customers he saw every day.
Instead of flip calendars with 12 pictures, some calendars consisted of monthly tear-off pages attached to one colorful picture.
Wells Fargo first participated in San Francisco’s Lunar New Year parade in 1993.
During the 1990s, calendars began to feature the animal of the year.
The last Year of the Rooster began on Feb. 9, 2005; the next one will start on Feb. 13, 2029.
Early Chinese lunar calendars used black-and-white photos and colorful illustrations. Advertisements in Chinese and days of the week written right to left demonstrate an interest in appealing to Chinese-language customers.
On this calendar featuring a Wells Fargo stagecoach, the characters in green mark the days according to the lunar calendar. The days of the Western calendar, which appear in red, count time based on the earth’s revolution around the sun.
By the 1940s, the calendars used original designs created in China. People loved the colorful prints with ornate gold embellishments; they collected and displayed the popular calendars in their homes and businesses.
The 1945 calendar is the earliest existing calendar in the collection from the Year of the Rooster.
Over time, the calendars sometimes featured historic Asian art and artifacts instead of original designs.
In 1971, four Chinese characters (rich, country, money, house) were chosen to represent Wells Fargo because a San Francisco bank manager in Chinatown said they appealed to the customers he saw every day. The characters continue to represent Wells Fargo today.
Instead of flip calendars with 12 pictures, some calendars consisted of monthly tear-off pages attached to one colorful picture.
Wells Fargo first participated in San Francisco’s Lunar New Year parade in 1993. Volunteer team members created a float featuring a stagecoach in front of a golden mountain. In the 1850s, newly arrived miners from China called their new home of San Francisco “Gum San,” which means “city of the gold mountain.” The float reminded everyone at the parade that Wells Fargo has been a part of the Asian-American community for generations.
During the 1990s, calendars began to feature the animal of the year.
The last Year of the Rooster began on Feb. 9, 2005; the next one will start on Feb. 13, 2029.
Topics: