China’s Spring Festival brings biggest holiday shopping sprees of the year

Chinese New Year

While every family has its own way to celebrate the Lunar New Year, one thing is certain: They’ll be spending big. CCTV’s Li Qiong reported on one family in Zhejiang Province as they finished their holiday shopping.

Preparations for the Spring Festival have been underway for a month in Feng Weikang’s family. For the retired couple, one of the biggest sources of spending is the family reunion meal.

China’s Spring Festival brings biggest holiday shopping sprees of the year

While every family has its own way to celebrate the Lunar New Year, one thing is certain: They’ll be spending big. CCTV’s Li Qiong reported on one family in Zhejiang Province as they finished their holiday shopping.

Feng’s 94-year-old mother will be attending, so he chose to eat at home this year. Although it may be cheaper than going to a fancy restaurant, cooking for four generations of hungry family members is no small project.

“There will be six or seven tables of guests. The dishes I’ve prepared take up three fridges. We have a budget,” Weikang said. “Taking the purchases early could make the cost smaller, so we can buy more things and stay within the budget.”

Weikang estimated he would spend more than 6,000 Yuan (about $960) on the meal alone, and he’s not the only one preparing to put on a holiday feast.

“The volume of sales and customers have both doubled compared with normal days,” Wu Junling, a food store supervisor said.

The family dinner is just one expense. Buying gifts for relatives is another. The most traditional is the red envelopes filled with cash given to family members. With the whole family gathering for the holiday, that can mean a lot of envelopes to hand out.

“We have quite a few kids in the family. Red-enveloped money is inevitable,” Weikang said. “I need to prepare more than 10,000 Yuan (about $1,600) for all of them.”

Over the past couple years, younger generations have turned more to digital exchanges.

“We used to give red envelopes filled with cash. But nowadays young people like these kinds of things more,” Weikang said.

Feng Weikang’s daughter said her budget for the holiday is more than 20,000 Yuan (about $3,200). Unlike her parents, her budget will cover some special spending just for herself.

“We need to buy gifts for our parents, children, other relatives and ourselves,” Weikang’s daughter, Feng Pei said. “Besides, I planned a 3,000 Yuan (about $480) tourism trip round the province.”


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