Happy New Year! The new year celebration here in China is right around the corner! The official day THIS year February 2nd. The date changes from year to year because it is tied to the Lunar calendar, which I still haven't totally figured out! :) But, it is definitely the most important holiday of the year, and the Chinese do it up BIG!!!!
Kids are out of school for a month, many factories and other businesses close down for 2-3 weeks and the workers travel back to their hometowns to visit their families. Many travel by train and it is very common for the trip to take 20 or even 30 hours! And the trains are PACKED FULL of people and their bags with barely room to move. In 2008, around 500,000 people were stranded in the Guangzhou Train Station because of heavy snows in the north knocked out power and delayed or even stopped train service. Many never made the visit home that year. Hopefully, this year will be different and people can make that much anticipated trip home!
There will be many elaborate decorations all around the city along with some special programs and performances. Another thing that is a major part of the new year celebration is the FIREWORKS ... a month of continuous FIREWORKS !!!!!!!!!!!!! Now where did I put those earplugs!!?? :)
Many in our fellowship will be traveling for the holiday, please keep them in your prayers. We will have services as usual for those who will be staying around so please remember us too! We will be sending another post or two during the holiday and include some photos so drop by and check us out!!!!
Steve and Dee