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Simple but relaxing in the Spring Festival

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2014-02-14

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Spring Festival was a time for people to get together to eat and drink in the past. But times have changed and economic conditions have improved, which result in the fading festive atmosphere. This year, with the central government’s promotion of austerity, how are people celebrating the Lunar New Year? Below are some examples:

A frugal Spring Festival

A citizen surnamed Shen said that her family spent the Lunar New Year in a frugal way. Whenever they ate at home or in restaurants, they ordered proper amounts of dishes and took leftovers home.

Severe smoggy weather discouraged fireworks in order to promote a quiet and green Spring Festival. Shen’s family used to spend 100-200 yuan ($16.48-$32.97) on firecrackers. But this year, they cut spending on fireworks to 30 yuan due to pollution concerns.

A reunion holiday

Fan Aidi, an 85-year-old woman in Chengxiang town, Taicang, was happy her grandchildren came home to accompany her during the festival. She has eight sons and daughters and a lot of grandchildren; many came to see her for the New Year. Some of them living far way also sent her pictures.

Fading festive atmosphere

Chen Wenxing, a Taicang citizen, said: “I spent most of my time in the teahouse in my village, playing cards and mahjong. Spring Festival provided us a chance to gather together.” During the week-long holiday, village teahouses were a top destination for village residents.

Wang Qiang, a young man, said: “The entire year’s work has made me tired. So I just slept and played computer games during the holiday.”

“The festival has gotten boring because New Year’s visits have been replaced by mass phone messages; green vegetables have taken the place of lavish meals; and online goods are more popular than self-made snacks,” a netizen called “Maple Leaf” said.

According to a folk custom expert, the boring festival implies the improvement in people’s lives. They are living in such an affluent time that every day looks like Spring Festival. But the fading festive atmosphere also suggests the emptiness of people’s spiritual life.