Well we are now nearing the end of the Chinese New Year and Spring Festival Holidays. Today is the Chinese Lantern Festival. As always Wikepedia does a pretty decent job of explaining the holiday here. But to summarize on the 15th day of the new year (when the first full moon is able to be seen) families gather for a reunion, eat dumplings, and children (along with everyone else) will light red lanterns (red considered a very lucky color in China) up into the night sky.
For us buyers on the ground in China, it means another chance to eat dumplings (all holidays seem to have this tradition in fact), and hopefully it’s a sign that the rest of our suppliers’ workers will return (most come sooner, but there are always stragglers).
For Shenzhen it appears as though they are starting the preparations for the University games (basically the Olympics for collegiate athletes) later this summer. I’ve seen less beggars recently, and as I walk to the bus stop each day I’m noticing more and more street cleaners at work getting the sidewalks and fences washed, and new flowers and plants everywhere (or at least in my area!). I’m curious to see if the city government will implement some of the traffic restrictions similar to the ones Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou implemented over the past couple of years (the Olympics, World Expo, and the Asian Games respectively). It certainly seems as though the subway construction is moving faster as deadlines are soon approaching (some seem most certainly to be missed).
Hopefully the games will be a nice way to introduce Shenzhen to the world (at least to those not doing business with China). If nothing else, I hope for cleaner air in the upcoming months!