This is the first time that I had ever been in Southern China so near to the Chinese New Year celebration. This year Chinese new year was very early, January 23rd. The date can vary greatly because the date is calculated according to the lunar calendar. the lunar calendar has few days per month than the Julian calendar and it has fewer months. So each year is considerably shorter than the Julian calendar. at any rate, that is why the date for Chinese New Year varies considerably from year to year.
One of the things that I noticed was that there were Chinese New Year decorations everywhere. I did not notice very much when I checked into the hotel on Sunday evening, I was too tired to notice or to care. However, the next morning, while I was waiting for my driver to pick me up, I had lots of time to check out the decorations in the lobby of the hotel.
Beside the entrance to the elevators there were two, almost life size, statues of a boy and a girl in the pose of giving traditional Chinese, New Year greetings.
Outside the hotel I saw what I initially thought were trees, orange trees, that vaguely resembled Christmas trees in the west. As it turned out, they were composite trees. Someone took tall skinny trees, attached them together to make them look like one tree.
Also in the lobby of the hotel there was a table, actually several tables joined together, where vendors were selling items for Chinese New Year. Most of the items were dried fruit and other foodstuffs that people in China would give to one another for Chinese New Year. I spotted something that was familiar, a package of Ferro Roche chocolates. When I converted the price from CNY to Canadian dollars I was amazed. It worked out that each chocolate was worth $2.00 Canadian! No matter how desperate I might be for chocolate, I was not going to pay $2.00 Canadian for an individual piece of chocolate, at least not Ferro Roche.