Chinese New Year/ Spring Festival.

At the moment, everyone is busy getting ready for Chinese New Year. Unlike the west, their New Year isn’t fixed, meaning it changes dates every year. Usually it is held from the end of January to the end of February. This year it is quite late, on the 19th of February.

Their New Year is our Christmas. I’ve actually seen tinsel! Lights are everywhere and there are red lanterns hung on the sides of the roads. I haven’t seen them at night but I’m sure they are beautiful.

This year is the year of the sheep. Apparently, (from what I’ve read on the internet) is that many parents don’t want their children to be born in the year of the sheep because it represents bad luck! My thinking however, if you’re blessed at being able to have kids then you’re extremely lucky!

Because of the festival, I’ve had a few classes cancel this week, but not as many as my co-workers. I’m trying to convince myself that my students love coming to class and thats why!

So, to make the most of our time off, myself and my boyfriend are going to visit Hangzhou. It is in eastern China, about 2 hours bus drive south from Shanghai! Apparently Hangzhou is a nice place to visit, but I know, at this time of year, it’s going to be hectic travelling around China. As one person said ‘the whole of China is moving’. Most Chinese families stay together during this time, with most of my friends going home for the festival.

I didn’t hear of many travelling around, as they know all too well how busy it will be. But I’m expecting it! We are staying in Hangzhou for 10 days, If we decided to stay in Chengdu, I know I’d have been bored! It’s rare to get a 10 day holiday, so our idea was to make the most of it.

Last year I was at home when the Spring Festival was on, meaning I missed it. I promised myself that next year I would be there for it, because its such as important time for Chinese people.

And while I’ll be in Hangzhou, my sister will be having her baby! I may try and search for any wifi spots in the city so I don’t miss the action! A good start to the (Chinese) year for my sister and boyfriend.
Oh and xīn nián kuài lè! Happy New Year!

Aisling.

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