Happy the Year of Dog to everyone! Wish you a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year.
Yesterday was Chinese New Year's eve and today is Chinese New Year's Day.
Yesterday we had New Year's eve dinner with Liying's family and friends at a restaurant in Pudong. There were at least 300 people having New Year's Eve dinner in that restaurant. This has become more and more popular in Shanghai - having Chinese New Year's dinner at a restaurant with families and friends. Normally you have to book over a month before to secure a table in a restaurant. It just saves lots of trouble of cooking at home while everyone can enjoy the dinner in a restaurant without having to worry about cooking. Our dinner started at 5:30 and finished at 7:30 - Such a early dinner for Brad and me. By the time the dinner finishes, most of the people were ready to play Mah-jong - the national sports of China.
New Year's present is a big thing people prepare before they go to visit relatives, friends, or colleagues on New Year's eve and New Year's day. Some of the most popular presents here in Shanghai are: Nestle Coffees (with coffee mate and mugs wrapped in a rectangular red box); fruits baskets (mixed fruits in a basket decorated with red and pink tinsel) and lily flowers (white and pink ones). Except for those three mentioned, health food and other local specialties (such as roasted walnut seeds and pumpkin seeds) are also popular presents. We bought that fruit basket (in the pic) and some lilies for liying's parents.
The fireworks were non-stop last night, especially after 11pm, it became so loud that poor Brad constantly thought there were bombings going on! I was woken up a few times at night by the bombards. Considering we live right in the center of the Shanghai city, it is obviously true that Shanghai's ban on fireworks was lifted.