1. It is a festival for 1/4 of the world’s population.
It’s China’s winter vacation week, like between Christmas and New Year’s Day other countries. Schools in China get about a month off, and universities even more. China, Hong Kong and Macau, and nine other Asian countries have public holidays.
Hong Kong blazes with fireworks and lights dance on the buildings.
China: 1.3 billion in China get three days of public holiday.
Indonesia: 250 million people in Indonesia get one day of public holiday.
Philippines: 100 million get one day of public holiday.
Vietnam: 90 million people get at least three days of public holidays, but the holidays sometimes extends for an entire week by taking away weekends, as in China.
South Korea: 50 million people get three days of public holiday.
Malaysia: 30 million people get two day of public holiday.
North Korea: 24 million people get three days of public holiday.
Taiwan: 24 million people get four days of public holiday generally.
Brunei: One day of public holiday.
Singapore: Two days of public holiday.
Hong Kong: Three days of public holidays, extending to four days if the holidays fall on a Sunday.
Macau: Three days of public holiday, extending to four days if the holidays fall on a Sunday.
2. Billions of red envelopes are exchanged.
These red envelopes with cash are given out from older to younger, from bosses to employees, and from leaders to underlings. It is a special New Year’s bonus. Read more on How to Give Chinese New Year Lucky Money (Red Envelopes)
3. CNY is a tough time for “old” singles!!
Chinese New Year is a joyful time for most, but for singles above the normal matrimonial age it’s not. Parents and relatives think they should be settled down. In China, females are said to be marriageable up to 30, and males before 32. Those who don’t get married before these ages are thought to be the dregs of society!
For these singles, parents are extremely anxious. So New Year’s Eve stress is heightened by embarrassing interrogations of the singles. Desperate parents even arrange dating (prospective marriages) for their single children.
To solve this problem an interesting, and often ridiculous, solution has appeared — renting a boyfriend or girlfriend for the New Year. There are websites and agents specialized in this business. Taobao, China’s largest online retailer, has a section for fake boyfriend and girlfriend rentals. The price is about 100 yuan (16 USD) a day.
originally appeared on chinahighlights.com