In rural areas and for older people the New Year gift giving tradition is still strong, but increasingly younger people prefer just to receive red envelopes (by hand or electronically). Red envelopes have money in, and are believed to bring good luck because they are red. Customarily only employers give red envelopes to working adults. Businesses and public institutions in China take a 7-day Chinese New Year holiday, but those who need to (like us) will have some staff on duty.
However, most large malls, tourist attractions, public transport, hotels, and restaurants will open as usual, or even stay open longer!
sweetmeats, melon seeds and packets of specialities such as groundnuts which the Chinese must obtain and store up for the festival.
In Chinese homes, the womenfolk get busy making cakes, biscuits, glutinous rice cakes and jellies which are stored away carefully, out of the reach of young children.
The preparations begin a month or so earlier as there are many things to be done before the great day arrives.
Shops and supermarkets stock all kinds of Chinese , eg.City parks and temple fairs are the places to go for this.Every street, building, and house where Spring Festival is celebrated is decorated with red.Wherever they are, people are expected to be home to celebrate the festival with their families.Like people waiting in New York Time Square to see the ball dropping, Chinese people have the custom of staying up late on Chinese New Year's Eve to welcome the new year's arrival.After reunion dinner, families normally sit together to watch the Spring Festival Gala, one of the most watched TV shows in China.At the same time, most people send We Chat red envelopes or short messages to acquaintances by phone.Homes are , new curtains sewn, and new cushions and carpets bought to give the home a new look.Red lanterns are hung outside and new pots of flowers and Mandarin orange plants are placed in the garden.From public displays in major cities to millions of private celebrations in China's rural areas, setting off firecrackers and fireworks is an indispensable festivity.Like at Christmas in other countries, people exchange gifts during the Spring Festival.