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Are you tired after the Spring Festival?

With the 7-day Spring Festival holiday coming to an end, the Chinese are faced with a 7-day working week. Sina Weibo, China’s biggest microblogging platform is buzzing again with people’s complaints: If I am to sum up the Spring Festival in one word, it has to be ‘tired’.

Photo: Xinhua

@Wu Yue Sanren(五岳散人): Finally the Spring Festival is over. I plan to go somewhere for another holiday in a few days. This holiday is so tiring...

This Weibo, posted by a popular online critic @五岳散人, expressed many people’s feeling after the Spring Festival holiday, which was echoed by many similar voices.

@Energetic Chicken Run (活力小鸡快跑): Guonian (过年Spring Festival Celebration) to me is just one word: Lei (累Tired). I cooked table after table of New Year feasts. My feet hurt from all the standing. But I didn’t even get to eat more than a few mouthfuls each time. How I wish I could have a relaxing Spring Festival.

@Smiling Pomegranate Flower(微笑的石榴花): Three consequences of the Spring Festival: 1. Severe sleep deprivation, 2. Severe tiredness, 3. Empty wallet.

@Peter Pan min(小飞侠min): The Spring Festival is even more tiring than work. (I) didn’t eat at home much. All sorts of gatherings, relative visits, trips, board games made me all sorts of tired.

Perhaps it was@五岳散人himself who summarizes this tired feeling the best: “Tomorrow is the first day back to work. I guess many people are still trapped in the traffic or wandering at the airport. But you are in a better situation than me. I drank for six days straight during the Spring Festival. Got seriously drunk twice. Gave out 6,000 yuan in Hongbao (红包,red wallet, a Chinese tradition of giving children money wrapped in red envelop during the Spring Festival). This is the only time I sincerely praise the one-child policy. I have one last dinner date this evening before calling it quits. So tired... ”

Red wallets a child got during the Spring Festival. The photo was shared by @徐慧Helen-小小火焰. For many young people who just started work, the pressure of giving out red wallets is skyhigh. “I gave my niece 200 yuan in Red Wallet and she pouted in response. I then learned that others all gave her at least 500 yuan. But how can I afford to give out money like this with my mere 3,000 yuan salary?" complained Baixue in an interview with Xinhua. Photo: Weibo.com

The Chinese people’s tiredness comes partly from the long and hard journey back home and the tradition of Bainian (拜年pay New Year call to relatives, superiors, and friends). “I was either in my qinqi’s (relative) or on my way there for the best part of my Spring Festival holiday. I didn’t even have much time to talk to my parents properly.” said a white-collar Cai Yi who just came back to Beijing.

However, physical tiredness is perhaps nothing compared to the psychological tiredness. The Bainian tradition involves gift-giving which is a pain in the neck for many. Not only do they have to think about what is appropriate to give, they have to worry about the right amount. Too little, you risk offending the recipient. Too much, you risk bankruptcy.

Spring Festival Fears (clockwise): empty wallet; pressure from parents to start a family; red wallets to give; hard-to-get train tickets; endless feasts.  Photo: news.cntv.cn

Even more tiring than Bainian for many young people, particularly the post-80s, is the fact that they have to deal with their relative’s embarrassing personal questions which is a typical Chinese way to show one’s concern. Many young people complain on Weibo that they were bombarded with questions such as “How is your exam result?” “Have you found a job yet?” “How much do you earn?” “Do you have a boy/girl friend?” “When are you getting married?” “When will you have a child?” which earned them a new name “Beicui Zu” (被催族, the group that is constantly being pushed.)

Even the annual friend’s reunion could become a source of frustration. Since nowadays many young people have left home to work in another city, Spring Festival is an opportunity for old friends and classmates to meet up and rekindle their friendship, which sadly has been turned into a flaunt-fest for fear of losing face. “You have to wear a mask and put on airs even in front of your friends.” Many have the same complaint. “How frustrating.”

Thus, after this Spring Festival, there is a new saying that goes, “In China, those who need a holiday the most is those who just had a holiday.” So, to all of you who spent this past Spring Festival in China, How are you?


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