Chengdu, China, Sichuan, Thoughts, Travel

The “Festive” Season in China

Happy belated New Year!

I love Christmas at home. I love getting into the festive spirit, winter get togethers with friends and family and the food… Of course. Which is why December tends to be the month of the year where homesickness tends to hit me pretty hard.

I remember my first Christmas in Houjie, China in 2012. Not only was it my first Christmas here, but it was my first away from home. I spent the day at work and had a Christmas lunch at Starbucks! Myself and the other foreign teachers at my school then spent the evening in one of the few western style restaurants in town knowing full well we would be back teaching the next day. We made the most out of it and the school even had a Christmas tree, I didn’t even feel that homesick… Until Boxing Day. I remember being in a foul mood all day reading through everybody’s Christmas related Facebook posts. I had to teach at school all day and then had two jobs to work that evening. The end of that day couldn’t come quick enough.

Christmas pie and gravy, please.
Christmas pie and gravy, please.
Oh, Christmas Tree. Why must we work on Christmas Day?

But, I didn’t come to China for normal. That New Year was a memorable one, too. New Year’s Eve plans tend to stress me out and to me it’s just “another” night out, but with an added pressure to have the most fun ever! But our New Year’s Eve in Shanghai was spent drinking bottomless free alcohol and dancing the night away. We even saw in 2013 with a weird but wonderful mash up of Auld Lang Syne and Gangnam Style – only in China, right?

Big Up 2013!
Big Up 2013!
All the dance moves.
All the dance moves.

 As the years have gone on, I’ve found that Christmas’ in China have got better and better. Whether or not that’s because I’m more used to being here or not, I’m not sure, but I’m definitely not going to complain!

To sum it up, 2013 was spent in a splendid “Irish” bar for both Christmas and New Year. Lots of fun, but not ideal.

So civilised.
So civilised.

2014 was spent with friends at our apartment. Then everyone took awfully long taxi journey to a hotel for a “supreme” buffet, by which time everyone was either too drunk or too tired to enjoy what was going on.

All you can try and eat buffet
All you can try and eat buffet

Then this year, Christmas was spent with all the food at our new apartment. We didn’t leave the house and it was great! Games, friends and some cheeky cheeky beverages. Everything a Christmas in China should be made of!

All the food in my face.
All the food in my face.

And New Year’s Eve didn’t disappoint either. We saw in the New Year surrounded by friend’s at a friends house, then inevitably decided to wander outside to the bars/clubs, only to realise that NO. So, we ended up doing exactly what we should be doing on New Year’s Eve in China, setting off some Chinese lanterns. So beautiful.

Happy New Year one and all, wherever you may be. :]

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