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Chinese enjoy 'frugal' and 'green' Spring Festival


12:57, February 17, 2013

A sanitarian worker clears up fireworks residue in Tianjin municipality, Feb 16. The sales of fireworks, which are an integral part of the Chinese Lunar New Year, were affected during the holiday with people's rising awareness of environmental protection as many cities had been shrouded in smog for long periods last month. (Photo/Xinhua)

BEIJING -- With fewer fireworks being set off and not as many feasts, "frugal" and "green" are two words to describe the seven-day Chinese Spring Festival holiday.

Managers of "HoyoBanquet", a luxury hotel in Nanning, capital of South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, were unhappy with the holiday as many banquet orders that had been booked months ago were canceled before the festival.

A similar situation happened in Liuzhou Hotel, a five-star establishment often used for government receptions in the autonomous region's second largest city of Liuzhou.

"Consumption of abalone, lobsters, Moutai liquor and imported wines dropped drastically during the holiday," said a hotel dining department executive, on condition of anonymity.

The Spring Festival, which fell on Feb 10 this year, is traditionally a time for family reunions. Businesses usually experience a boom during the period as people swarm to shops and restaurants.

However, amid the sales, luxurious restaurants saw business dwindle, partly due to a nation-wide campaign against extravagance and a call for a more frugal lifestyle.

Data showed that high-end restaurants in the better-off Zhejiang province in East China saw business revenue decline at least 20 percent.

Many people also responded to the central government's call and decided to have a frugal and healthy holiday.

Shen Juan, 37, a native of Nanjing city in East China's Jiangsu province, chose to have his family reunion dinner at home, rather than at a five-star hotel as he did last year.

Some gift recovery stores in Shanghai also experienced sluggish business.

"The central government called for frugality and strict supervision of extravagant consumption by officials. Business has been less than half of what it was last year," said Lu Qiang, owner of a gift recovery store in downtown Shanghai.

"We collected 30 to 40 bottles of Moutao Liquor and 40 to 50 cartons of Chunghwa cigarettes every day during the holiday in recent years," said Lu.

A bottle of Feitian Moutai sells for 1,599 yuan ($254.6) on, a leading Chinese e-commerce website. A carton of Chunghwa cigarettes retails for 485 yuan in Merrymart, a supermarket in Beijing.

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