I just popped into my local supermarket to pick up some last minute items before the big holiday weekend begins (gotta have Pepsi in the house, you know). The consumer frenzy is reaching a fever pitch that nothing in the US on the day before Christmas could even come close to matching.
Sunday is 初一 (chu yi), the first day of the Chinese New Year, and to celebrate, the entire country will be closed for the next 8 days so that 1.3 billion Chinese can spend time with their families eating dumplings, watching the CCTV Gala, and blowing things up.
Another feature of the holiday is that you must give a gift to absolutely everyone you know: relatives, friends, acquaintances, business associates, service people, kids…..everyone.
The aisles of the supermarket today are piled HIGH with gift boxes of everything under the sun. In just one spin around the market I spotted beautifully wrapped gift boxes of:
- all manner of chocolates
- all manner of fruit
- all manner of candy
- Welch's Fruit Juice
- Protein Powder (for grandpa and grandma to show them that you care about their health)
- cans of coffee
- Oreo cookies
- vitamins (again, to show someone you care about their health)
I really wanted to snap some photos of all the stuff, but they have strict rules against such things in the store, and I don't feel like starting out the Year of the Tiger having tea at my neighborhood police station.