CRIENGLISH.com Web Editor: Wang Wei
This year marks the year of the snake on China's Lunar calendar. The zodiac animal is known as a symbol of intelligence and grace.
It is also known as a "little dragon", but is traditionaly not so well-received by some people and this is causing concern for some vendors selling lucky 'snake' merchandise.
CRI's He Fei reports.
Zodiac mascots and decorations are a must on the New Year shopping list for many Chinese households.
However, the Year of Snake, which begins on Sunday on the lunar calendar, has made some vendors worried about their business.
"Well, this one looks like a worm with a long coiling tail."
"This snake model is so appalling; I don't think my grandchildren will be happy to receive it as a gift."
"Snake is not that popular as an animal, so it is hard for us to pick up the right items for this year. we have to make the order about half year ahead of the Spring Festival to guarantee the shipping and cost."
Li Zhiwei, is a vendor at Beijing Tianyi Wholesale Market. He says he can tell from the first glimpse whether the product will be a hit or a bust.
He says popular mascots have one thing in common: they don't resemble the real snake.
"I like this Beauty Queen Snake baby doll."
"The porcelain saving-box dubbed as Fu Lu Shou or Fortune, Luck and Longevity, is shaped as a snake but more similar to a chubby baby boy if you look closely. I've sold 3 thousand pieces already in a week."
Besides the shopping mall, Chinese people like to visit temples during the holidays:
Bell ringing and a sincere praying and worshipping are believed by many to be able to bring a year's good fortune for families and friends.
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