Sat, Feb 12, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Lunar New Year is losing its appeal as parents penny-pinch

AFP , TAIPEI

The Lunar New Year holiday is losing its luster in Taiwan as costs and early Western festivities take their toll on the festive atmosphere, a survey showed yesterday.

A Chinese-language newspaper's survey said a majority of people believed there was less of a holiday atmosphere this year, while nearly one-fifth were reluctant to celebrate because of financial pressure.

Over 75 percent of 806 people polled by the newspaper said the atmosphere was not as pronounced as previous years because the Western New Year holiday was holding more events such as firework displays and outdoor concerts.

The Feb. 1 survey found 16 percent disliked the Lunar New Year holiday, which is traditionally the most important holiday in the year. Half the men in this group cited financial reasons for their dislike, saying they had to spend a lot of cash on gifts and red envelopes filled with money.

It is customary for people to pay courtesy visits and bring presents to relatives and friends during the holiday.

Adults also give red envelopes to children.

Many women said they disliked the Lunar New Year because they would become exhausted from cleaning house and preparing elaborate holiday dishes.

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