Expats share Spring Festival plans

Writer: Zhang Yu, Han Ximin, Lin Jianping  |  Editor: Liu Minxia  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2023-01-20

Video by Liu Xudong

Expats in Shenzhen are ready to celebrate the Spring Festival, the most important traditional festival for Chinese people, looking forward to a new lunar year with good wishes.

With Spring Festival couplets and scrolls pasted at their coffee shop at Terra sci-tech park in Chegongmiao, Futian District, South Koreans Yu Eun-ju and Gil Na-hyun are prepared for customers as their “A thing Coffee” store will remain open during the Spring Festival holiday.

The most exciting thing Yu and Gil are anticipating is probably the opening of their second store in Shekou next month, which indicates that the two foreign entrepreneurs have got a firm foothold in a city with the most coffee shops in China.

According to Gil, she and her partner had gone through a lot in the past year. “It was a challenging year, but we managed to make it through,” Gil said. Their Chegongmiao store celebrated its first anniversary Jan. 15 this year.

“My New Year’s plan is to prepare for the opening of our second store in Shekou after the Spring Festival and stabilize the two stores’ operations. My wish is that our brand will become better and better!” Yu told Shenzhen Daily.

Charles Stone from the U.S. touches a “gold ingot” presented by a Caishen during a visit to the main venue of Shenzhen Spring Festival Flower Fair in Futian District on Wednesday. This year’s Spring Festival falls on Sunday. Caishen, Chinese god of wealth and money, is especially honored during the Chinese New Year, so that he will bless people with prosperity. 

There is a popular saying in Guangdong Province: “If you don’t go to the flower fair, you are not celebrating the Chinese New Year (CNY).” Charles Stone, an American lawyer working and living in Futian, took a stroll at the main venue of this year’s Shenzhen Spring Festival Flower Fair in Futian on Wednesday.

“It’s bustling with noise and excitement. Everyone looks happy,” Stone said. According to Stone, he will spend the holiday in Shenzhen and will visit Lianhua Hill Park every day as he usually does.

As a lover of classical Chinese poetry, Stone has also written a five-character quatrain for the Year of the Rabbit. “I wish everyone a happy CNY,” he said.

“I will stay in Shenzhen and travel around the city,” said Lis Tatiana from Belarus during an interview Thursday.

Fascinated by the city’s culture, Tatiana participated in the Expats Eye GBA Short Video Contest by presenting a short video introducing Chiwan Left Port, a significant unit of historical and cultural relics in Shenzhen that was used for fighting against ships invading China through the Pearl River Estuary during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), and the modern Chiwan Port, one of the city’s major trading ports.

“I don’t have any plans for the holiday. Every morning is the beginning of a great day,” Tatiana said.

Traveling to Spain to see her family members was one decision that Shirley Frias Torres had made after China canceled quarantines for inbound international travelers.

“China is already open, and I can’t wait to see my other family members after a 5-year-long separation,” Torres said.

Torres and her family had spent several Chinese New Year holidays in China. As a singer and music teacher, Torres and her husband made short videos to share their life in China, encouraging people to stay upbeat in the fight against COVID.

“Back in Barcelona, I will share our beautiful experiences in China with my family,” Torres said.