How technology has changed Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is the most important celebration within the Chinese calendar. It celebrates family and honours ancestors. To celebrate Chinese New Year and the Year of the Pig, we’ve collated how technology has changed the traditions during this festive holiday.
- Traditional red envelopes – ‘Hóngbāo’
Traditionally, these red packets are filled with cash gifts from married couples and given to parents, children and unmarried adults in the family as a tradition to celebrate Chinese New Year. They are said to bring energy, happiness, good luck and to warn off evil spirits. But now, technology has created an app that does this; ‘WeChat’.
Social networking and messaging app ‘WeChat’, from China’s huge internet company, Tencent Holdings, allows electronic envelopes to be sent and received via an in-app payment service to close friends and family. The app also has an option to distribute a sum of money to recipients randomly decided by the app. The user inputs the total amount and the cash gifts are shared.
- E-commerce shopping
Another tradition during the festivity is the New Year’s Eve dinner. This activity involves everyone buying specific ingredients and food for the menu. Spring rolls, dumplings, noodles, steamed fish and good fortune fruit are all traditional authentic dishes enjoyed by families across China.
Technology again plays its part, helping families stay relaxed and not rushed off their feet. Online shopping and apps now allow the food to be delivered straight to their door, avoiding the hustle and bustle.
- Relationship Tradition
There is an old tradition that is still present today, in which parents expect their children to be married by the age of 30, putting a lot of pressure on unmarried adults to bring a partner home for the Chinese New Year.
Relieving this stress and pressure for the festive period, there are websites and apps available to hire a partner (yes, this is actually a thing!) to act as your significant other for family commitments, in exchange for large sums of money. This is proven to be rather popular for Chinese New Year as there is an influx of requests around this period.
During Chinese New Year millions head home to spend time with their loved ones. The trains, however, are often crowded, busy and an unpleasant experience. New technology has since been announced to decrease the time taken to get to destinations throughout China and various providences – ‘Bullet Trains’.
The bullet train will cut travel time by 75% with a speed of up to 350 kmph and provides more than enough seats for capacity. New technology also includes easy payment for train tickets through apps that make sure tickets are available through busy periods. There is even face recognition for embarking passengers for a more efficient boarding process.
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