After a month’s hiatus, and a bunch of “incidentals” that ate away all my spare time last week, I’m back on the blog.
Details are forthcoming, but I first wanted to catch you up on the absolutely biggest festival in China over the entire year.
Almost everybody has 1-3 weeks off of work, and the school holidays started about 3 weeks previously and last a total of about 6 weeks.
It’s a very traditional holiday, in the sense that there is a strict hierarchical structure to which family members you visit which day of the festival.
Similar to Thanksgiving, everybody travels back to their hometown and spends time making dumplings together for hours and days, and introducing spousal prospects to their parents (or getting berated for not having one yet).
In fact, I’ve heard that sometimes singles will convince a friend or “rent” a boyfriend/girlfriend to travel with them to meet their family, so they won’t get the extensive grief about not being married or having a boyfriend.
There is a lot of pressure to marry a good prospect, and families are very direct about telling their offspring so in no uncertain terms.
The festivities start on the Eve and last for a solid two weeks, with fireworks always but more at certain times.
In our case, since this is a family event, on the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year we ended up hosting 2 families for an all-nighter, and one more came and stayed into the evening before going home.
Three foster babies were at our home for the evening as well as the rowdy older set.
The kids stayed up as long as they wanted, then crashed on floor beds in the kids room.
We moms decided that this is one of the perks of living in China for kids.
You get to stay up all night and have a fantastic sleepover with some of your best friends, and watch fireworks as much you want!
The last die-hards fell asleep just after midnight, when the fireworks really were cranking up.
A month later, they’re still raving about the great time they had.