Guanxi and the organization of Chinese new year festivals in England


This article explores how Chinese diaspora communities use guanxi, a unique Chinese interpretation of personal relationships, in the organization of Chinese New Year (CNY) festivals in England. A case-study approach that incorporated mixed qualitative methods was used to investigate the interactions and interrelationships between the ethnic Chinese communities involved in the organization of CNY festivals in five English cities. The article argues that Chinese diaspora communities use their guanxi to establish collaboration at CNY festivals. However, the process of organizing CNY festivals has also exposed divisions among Chinese communities. The article proposes that guanxi has important implications for the relationships among Chinese diaspora communities in the context of CNY festivals. Although it facilitates collaboration and promotes solidarity among Chinese communities, it may also intensify competition for power. Diaspora festivals in general are a neglected area of research and this article is the first to study the organization of Chinese New Year festivals in detail

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