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恐年族 (kǒngnián zú): People suffering Spring Festival phobia

China Daily | Updated: 2017-01-20 07:49

As Spring Festival approaches, instead of being excited about the coming celebrations and family reunions, many people have a phobia about the holiday because of the extravagance and waste and pressure that has come to characterize the festival.

Many young adults feel pressure to spend more than they want to or can afford at this time of year. As it is a Chinese tradition for children to receive money as a New Year gift from their elders. With the improvement in people's living conditions, many people will end up giving several thousands of yuan to the children of relatives and friends. Adding that money to the gifts given to their parents and the expenditure on dinner with families and friends, it is not uncommon to see people spend 10,000 yuan ($1,458) or more during Spring Festival, which is a heavy economic burden for many people.

Moreover, many people, especially youngsters, get worn out during the Spring Festival holiday, because there are many dinners with friends and former schoolmates to attend, and there is always the pressure to drink during these reunions.

Meanwhile, parents and relatives always urge single youngsters to get married soon, have a baby soon or have the second child, which is another burden that younger adults have to bear.

In addition, as it is an opportunity for extended families to gather together, the holiday has become an arena for showing off. Parents compare their children's academic performance, while relatives and friends compare status and possessions.

It really isn't much of a happy holiday for some.

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