Li, a netizen from Anhui, said on his Weibo account that he wasn’t able to do anything during the week-long national holiday except attend weddings. The statement went viral as many people had pretty much the same experience.
September and October are the traditional peak season for wedding ceremonies and banquets. In large cities like Beijing and Shanghai, holding a wedding banquet in hotels will cost you an arm and a leg. But even with their minimum spending requirement and 10 to 15 percent service charge, most high-end hotels saw full bookings over the holiday week.
Hotel New Otani Chang Fu Gong is a five-star hotel located in Beijing.Its wedding banquet sales department head Mr. Li said the lower limit for each banquet table is 5,180 yuan (US$846) plus a 15 percent service charge.
In another hotel in Qinghuangdao, the manager said during last seven days, there were two to three wedding banquets held at the hotel’s ballroom every day, with more than a hundred tables each. “We have been fully booked since the end of September,” mainland media quoted the manager as saying.
Giving out cash gifts or “red bombs” to the newlyweds is part of the basic etiquette for attending a wedding in China, and Li of Anhui spent 2,000 yuan for gifts in the past week, a big slice of his monthly salary.
The dollar value of gifts is usually pegged to the venue of the wedding banquet, or the cost of each table. For banquets held in five-star hotels, the amount could be easily higher than a thousand yuan, which entails a great sacrifice for many guests, especially those who are fresh graduates.
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