Updated: 2013-02-20 11:04
By Gan Tian (China Daily)
Young women in a gym in Mohe, Heilongjiang province, work off weight gained during Spring Festival binges. Qiu Qilong / For China Daily
After a colorful Spring Festival break, the country is getting back to work.
For Wu Ning, owner of the Shanghai florist Blooming Hour, this year was a bit special as the flower market opened early to cash in on Valentine's Day, which fell on the fifth day of the first month of the lunar calendar, during Spring Festival.
"Usually, vendors open for business after Lantern Festival (Feb 24 this year). There was a big difference this year," she says.
Wu adds that this year has been a smooth one for her business as there was little disruption because of Spring Festival.
In previous years, she had to deliver bouquets to customers herself because deliverymen weren't working and the flower market was closed.
Yu Lulu, on the other hand, is finding getting back in shape for work a bit of a chore. The model with Galaxy Culture agency put on a few pounds over the holiday and needs to lose them now.
The 21-year-old returned to her hometown in Wuhan, Hubei province, for the holiday and enjoyed the big meals her mother cooked every day.
Back in Beijing, however, Yu found she had gained 2 kg, which upset her. Her coach told her to get back to the gym as soon as possible so she gets toned for China International Fashion Week, in April.
"There's been a boom at the gym with people coming back from their holidays, having gained weight during this period," says Wang Xiaoran, a salesman at Nirvanness in Beijing.
Wang adds most of them are office workers who work out on the weekend, plus a lot of new members who have made resolutions to shape up.
Zhang Huaiyou is back to work and dealing with financial problems. The art director of a fashion magazine earned a bonus of 18,000 yuan ($2,900) at the end of 2012, but after Spring Festival he complains that he has less than 2,000 yuan left.
"Turning 30 this year, I found I had more expenses for the Spring Festival. I couldn't go back home empty handed, so I bought a lot of gifts for my parents and relatives. I also had to give hongbao (red envelopes full money) to children in the family," Zhang says.
Like many metropolitan bachelors, Zhang does not save much and he is now working on a financial plan to meet everyday expenses.
For people who have a 9 to 5 job, it can be difficult to adjust their schedules after the holiday period.
Li Shu, a secretary at a State-owned enterprise, returned to her hometown in Changsha, Hunan province, and got used to staying up until 2 or 3 in the morning, waking up around 1 pm.
She has had real difficulty adapting to regular hours again since starting work on Sunday. The 27-year-old arrived back in Beijing late on Saturday, and could only fall asleep after taking half a sleeping pill.
"I was quite dizzy at work the next day," she says.