By Lu Chang
Although restaurants in Shanghai have scheduled two seatings for
Chinese New Years Eve dinner, its still hard to get
a reservation for Chinas most important meal of the year.
We have time slots that night ?one is from 5 pm to 6:45 pm,
and the other is from 6:45 pm until late in the evening,?said a
worker at the Little Country Restaurant. But we have only
a few tables in the earlier period available.?
Gao Yanna, an employee of the Yuxiang Renjia Restaurant, said the
eatery started booking reservations for the New Years Eve
dinner two months ago. All 50 chefs we have will have to work
in the kitchen all that night to cook for so many guests,?she added.
Western restaurants have to give way to Chinese ones on that special
The Shang Ding Gourmet Co Ltd owns one Western and three Chinese
restaurants . Yang Jing, a spokesperson for the company, said all
but the Western venue have reservations for the New Year Eve dinner.
Vegetarian restaurants have been booked for the first day of Chinese
New Year. Many people will go to temples to worship on the
first day of the year, so they would choose to eat vegetarian,?a
staff surnamed Lin of the Vegeatery restaurant told China Daily
Shanghai & Delta.
Those who dine at home on New Years Eve usually are busy preparing
food all day for the familys reunion dinner.
My mom and aunties cook a whole day for about 10 of us in
the family and after the dinner they have to do the dishes for hours,?said
Ji Lei, a local resident. But we prefer this traditional way
because we can really feel the atmosphere of a holiday at home.
The restaurants are too noisy. And we will not miss the Spring Festival
Gala Show on Chinas Central Television Station, which has
been part of our festival for years.?
Frozen and pre-cooked food sold in supermarkets have become popular
among Shanghainese. A source at Carrefour said the company has planned
to stock more pre-cooked dishes during the Spring Festival in its
eight outlets in Shanghai.
Since migrant ayis?(maids) usually return to their hometowns
to celebrate the festival, Shanghainese families compete for the
few local nannies to cook the dinner, at much higher prices than
Our company has only four maids during that holiday and the
two-week salary for them will be at least 2,000 yuan (US$247),?said
an employee surnamed Hu of Shanghai Tianyuan Home Services Company.
In other months of the year, the average monthly salary for an ayi
is about 1,200 yuan (US$148).
In order to save time and energy, some families choose to eat simply
We usually have hot pot at home on New Years Eve. It
is easy to prepare and we can still enjoy the cozy festive atmosphere
at home in this way,?said Maggie He, a white-collar worker.