Chinese New Year (CNY), February 8, is fast approaching. A few nights ago, my aunt said she couldn’t sleep until nearly dawn. She said she couldn’t figure out why. I’m guessing it’s because she’s nervous about all the planning for the imminent holidays.
Starting February 6th, here in Taiwan, most businesses will close down for nine days (5 business days). Some shops have started shutting down today. Many people return to their hometowns for the only extended national holiday of the year. Since many people start with only five personal time-off days at their work places, these days off are highly prized. Others leave the country for short vacations. In China, the Ministry of Transportation expects 2.9 billion journeys around CNY. Prices seem to rise by 2-3 times around CNY. Other places that take days off include Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, and Mauritius.
During that week off, friends and relatives will be going to each other’s homes.
My aunt is concerned about which restaurants and food stores will be open. Banks will be closed so you better get your money now, she suggested. I told her that we can probably get food at McDonald’s or Family Mart, a convenience store chain, because they never close.