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Showing posts with label Holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holidays. Show all posts

Monday, November 12, 2018

Fog Machines, Doves, and Target Heads: More Singles Day Promotions in Zhongshan

dancers at Chotef (周大发) promotion for Singles Day in Zhongshan
Dancing for Singles Day in Zhongshan, China


A number of promotions for Singles day began early last week in Zhongshan. In one of the many signs that retailers weren't content to celebrate Singles Day on just one single day, on Saturday, the day before the holiday, a Chotef (周大发) jewelry store at the west end of the Sun Wen West Road Pedestrian Street held a Singles Day promotion including performances.

Chotef (周大发) promotion for Singles Day in Zhongshan


During the late afternoon, I saw some women dancing, similar to an earlier Halloween performance elsewhere in Zhongshan. Unlike what I saw at a similar promotion at a jewelry store in Ganzhou, there wasn't a dancing dinosaur, but at least there was a fog machine.

fog machine working at Chotef (周大发) promotion for Singles Day in Zhongshan


When I passed by later during the evening, I caught the end of another performance.

evening Chotef (周大发) promotion for Singles Day in Zhongshan


For a change of pace that many children seemed to particularly enjoy, afterwards a magician performed.

magician with a white dove dancers at Chotef (周大发) promotion for Singles Day in Zhongshan


A live dove appeared thrilled about its magical appearance.

I didn't return to this location on Singles Day, but presumably there was more of the same. Elsewhere, I didn't notice much occurring other than the typical sales for the holiday.

But there was one thing which really caught my eye. Earlier, I shared an example of a Singles Day promotion at a store for the Chinese clothing brand La Chapelle. A La Chapelle store at another mall in Zhongshan was holding the same promotion, except they had a display I hadn't seen before.

La Chapelle display for Singles Day with targets for women's heads


Using dartboards for heads in a Singles Day promotional display of women's clothing seemed . . . off target. Since this didn't seem like something I would miss and I was later near the first store I had noticed, I double-checked, and indeed it had no similar display. So perhaps La Chapelle didn't intend for its stores to depict women's heads as targets, and this is a single lone example.

In any case, though some stores have concluded their Singles Day promotion since the holiday is over, some haven't. So if you want to enjoy Chotef's special deals for the holiday, you have until November 19 — eight whole single days extra.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Christmas Trees and Not Quite Thermal Underwear: Signs of the Season at a Walmart in Zhongshan, China

While some retailers in China have moved on from promotions for Halloween to ones for the upcoming Singles Day, others are already bringing attention to holidays more distant in the future. For example, at Zhongshan's only Walmart* Christmas-themed items are now on sale.

Christmas trees for sale at a Walmart in Zhongshan, China


Christmas items for sale at a Walmart in Zhongshan, China


Christmas items for sale at a Walmart in Zhongshan, China


The items immediately greet customers when they enter the store. And near them are indications that although daytime temperatures are still reaching into the low 80s (high 20s in Celsius) the weather in in Zhongshan will get chillier.

jackets on display under "thermal underwear" signs at a Walmart in Zhongshan


However, I don't think those jackets count as thermal underwear. Just to be clear, the problem here isn't one of translation but of categorization. Good luck to anybody trying to wear those jackets under their clothes.

And finally, snow is extremely uncommon in Zhongshan, and rain remains a possibility during winter months. So of course Walmart sells umbrellas as well.

scarves on display under an "umbrellas" sign at a Walmart in Zhongshan


Once again, good luck.




*Not long ago there was another Walmart store, but it is now no more.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

From Halloween to Singles Day at Toys "R" Us in China

Not so surprisingly, the Halloween sale at a Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan, China, ended on Halloween — October 31. Also not so surprisingly, it was only a short time before the store began another promotion. From November 2 until November 11 Toys "R" Us will celebrate Single's Day with a sale on a variety of toys.

Singles Day sale display at a Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan


As described by Lisa Lacy in an Adweek article about the holiday not taking off in the U.S.:
Singles Day started out [in China] as an anti-Valentine’s Day movement among college students in 1993. They picked 11/11 because it’s a date comprised of ones. The concept: Treat yourself.

Alibaba co-opted it in 2009 as an excuse to push winter coats, and the rest is history: Since then, China’s online audience has grown to more than 800 million consumers by Alibaba’s count. Along the way, Singles Day has matured into the single biggest shopping day in the world—selling more than $25 billion in 24 hours last year.
Children are indeed single, so I suppose it fits. The promotion is perhaps more reflective of how many businesses use a variety of holidays for promotions without necessarily intending any deep connection between the products on sale and the actual holiday.

Many other retailers in China are having Singles Day sales, including a store for a Chinese clothing brand that is a short walk from the Toys "R" Us.

Singles Day sale at La Chapelle in Zhongshan


The impact of the holiday on sales, including online, will be closely watched to see if it provides further indication that China's economy is slowing. In any case, if you are thinking of buying a mini foosball table, now might be your best time — especially if you're single.

Singles Day sale on mini foosball table on then Toys "R" Us China website
Source

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Black Dumplings, Gourds, and a Meaty Mannequin: Halloween Spirit in Zhongshan, China

In past years I have shared Halloween-related scenes from cities such as Taipei in 2011, Changsha in 2012, Shaoguan in 2015, Shenyang in 2016, and most recently Changsha again in 2017. The posts have numerous photos of people in costumes, promotions, and food. Perhaps some day I will fill in some of what I missed sharing here, which includes Halloween experiences in Dalian, Shanghai, and Zhuhai. But for now I will share a sample of what I saw in Zhongshan, since it is where I spent Halloween this year.

One of the earliest signs of Halloween I came across was a promotion at 7-Eleven stores which began weeks before the holiday. Yes, I gave the three black cuttlefish items a try.

Halloween black cuttlefish foods at 7-Eleven in Zhongshan, China


The dumplings were tasty with some Sriracha-style sauce, but a couple of them were rather soggy. The sausage was too dried out. The cuttlefish balls were OK. None of it was as good as the black spidery pizza I tried at Pizza Hut in Shenyang two years ago. At least 7-Eleven had a special price for getting the three together. Not all the items were specially made for Halloween, but the dumplings are now gone.

To wash down all of that cuttlefish ink, 7-Eleven had a special Halloween deal on . . . Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey lemonade and cola drinks of course.

7-Eleven sign for Halloween sale of Jack Daniel's drinks


Moving on . . .

Three years ago I saw a Halloween display at n RT-Mart in Shaoguan. This year in Zhongshan, RT-Mart kept up the Halloween spirit.

Display of Halloween items for sale at an RT-Mart in Zhongshan


Display of Halloween items for sale at an RT-Mart in Zhongshan


Their selection possibly surpassed what was available at a Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan. Also, the display had a dark area inside of it where glowing items could be tested.

children playing with toys inside a display of Halloween items for sale at an RT-Mart in Zhongshan


A Carrefour in Zhongshan similarly had Halloween items for sale.

Display of Halloween items for sale at a Carrefour in Zhongshan, China


Carrefour took it up another notch, though, with a Halloween gourd display.

Halloween display of gourds for sale at a Carrefour in Zhongshan, China


The Shiqi Dasin Metro-Mall had a Halloween-themed food fair as part of celebrations for the one year anniversary of its newest section.

Halloween-themed inflated arch at the Shiqi Dasin Metro-Mall in Zhongshan, China


Several nights before Halloween, the fair was packed.

Halloween food fair at the Shiqi Dasin Metro-Mall in Zhongshan, China


None of the food itself was any different from what could appear at any other food fairs, but at least one of the sellers was in the holiday spirit.

man wearing a caveman costume


There was also occasional dancing.

young women dancing


On Halloween day there were a variety of activities. The Lihe Plaza shopping mall appeared prepared for a musical performance, but I didn't stick around to listen.

Stage with a halloween theme at Lihe Plaza


One popular gathering area that night was the central outdoor area at the Central Power Plaza shopping mall, where there were several people painting faces as part of a promotion.

people gathered for Halloween activities at Central Power Plaza in Zhongshan


By 10 p.m on Halloween night at the Shiqi Dasin Metro-Mall, many of the vendors at the food fair had already packed up and departed. But even with a now sagging arch, there were still photographic opportunities.



Some bars, including one at the mall, also got into the holiday spirit. In part because most are far separated from one another, I didn't bother with a pub crawl — so no photos. I also won't be sharing a set of photos of people dressed up for the holiday. See the earlier posts for plenty of those. But here's one of a pirate sitting at McDonald's on Halloween night:

young woman wearing a pirate hat sitting at McDonald's in Zhongshan, China


Finally, for the first time ever I will award a winner (of what I happened to see) for best Halloween spirit. Carrefour wins hands down. No, the Halloween items for sale or the glorious gourds aren't what led to this special distinction.

Instead, I introduce the Halloween Dried Meats Witch:

female mannequin dressed in dried meats and wearing a Halloween witch hat


Perhaps that will become a popular costume for next year.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Only a Few Halloween Jack-O'-Lantern Buckets Left at Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan

More than three weeks ago a Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan already had out its Halloween display. It remained in place this afternoon, but there were noticeably fewer items available — suggesting the Toys "R" Us has made more than a few Halloween sales.

Halloween items for sale at a Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan, China


The small jack-o'-lantern buckets seemed to have especially been a hit.

More about the Halloween holiday in Zhongshan later. It's now time for me to see some of what Halloween night is like here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Fufeng Pagoda, Mountain Climbing, and the Chongyang Festival in Zhongshan

One of the photos in the previous post which shared my excitement two days ago about seeing yet another rainbow in China included Zhongshan's Fufeng Pagoda (阜峰文塔) in the distance. Yesterday afternoon, I stopped by Zhongshan Park and climbed Yandun Hill (烟墩山) for a closer view.

Fufeng Pagoda (阜峰文塔) in Zhongshan


Had I been at this same spot when the earlier rainbow appeared, I believe I could have easily captured them together from there.

As with visits to the park in previous years, the tower was closed, so unfortunately I couldn't climb higher for a hopefully clearer view of the park's surroundings.

closed entryway to Fufeng Pagoda (阜峰文塔)


I took another path down the mountain and was surprised to see apparently new netting which not only blocked access to the adjacent green areas but also several other paths.

Stairs lined with a rope net at Zhongshan Park in Zhongshan


Stairs lined with a rope net at Zhongshan Park in Zhongshan


People walking up stairs lined with rope netting at Zhongshan Park in Zhongshan


I didn't recall seeing anything like that at the park before. The large numbers of police and China Militia around the park were also unusual.

But for anybody who was confused about the changes, there was at least one sign that explained the conditions.



They were due to the upcoming Chongyang Festival (重阳节 — Chóngyángjié), also called Double Ninth Festival in English. One of the traditional activities for the holiday is mountain climbing. The sign indicated people could begin their holiday ascent as late as half hour after midnight that night but would need to leave the park by 1:30 a.m. The park would later open at 6 a.m. on the day of the holiday and close at 6 p.m. Then the park would reopen at 5 a.m. the day following the holiday for normal operations. The sign also asked people not to light fires, smoke, or bring anything that could explode.

A little after 9 p.m. yesterday night I returned to the park and found one of the more popular entrances filled with people and lined with police.

Entry to Zhongshan Park at night for the Chongyang Festival in Zhongshan


From there, the path from there to the top of the hill was a lot more crowded than it had been during the day.

people on stairs at night in Zhongshan Park in Zhongshan


Other than the many people, security, and rope nets, there wasn't much else that was unusual at the park. I did meet some people under a tent doing some community service by highlighting the dangers of illegal drugs though.

informational display of illegal drugs


At first I feigned surprise that they were selling so many types of illegal drugs, but they quickly set things straight — perhaps an especially good idea with all of the police around.

This wasn't my first time to participate in some Chongyang Festival climbing. My most memorable experience was the time friends in neighboring Zhuhai invited me to take a night hike up Banzhang Mountain, which is a much more challenging climb and affords more open far-reaching views.

Zhongshan had other sites open this year for the holiday, such as Dajian Mountain (news article in Chinese), with higher climbs as well. But this year's holiday climb still had its charms. And now I have finally seen the Fufeng Pagoda up close at night — definitely no rainbows in the sky.

Fufeng Pagoda (阜峰文塔) with lights on at night in Zhongshan

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Straight from National Day to Halloween: Another Toys "R" Us Promotion in China

The month-long National Day holiday promotion Toys "R" Us held in China, which featured deals on toys such a Nerf guns and Hamsters in a House, ended yesterday. Today, a Toys "R" Us store in Zhongshan hadn't skipped a beat and had already moved on to the next great thing: Halloween.

"Halloween Headquarters" sign at Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan, China


Most of the related items appeared to be on a single rack sitting at the front entrance of the store.

Halloween items for sale at Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan, China


Halloween items for sale at Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan, China


Halloween items for sale at Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan, China


I wasn't at all surprised by the Halloween promotion or it lasting from October 9 to October 31. After all, I've seen more impressive displays of Halloween items for sale before, including at an RT-Mart in Shaoguan. And last year in Zhongshan I saw a promotion running during the same period of time. That one was a bit more surprising, though, since it featured a Halloween sale on cosmetics.

Monday, October 8, 2018

More Toy Guns and Hamsters Too in a Holiday Sale at Toys "R" Us in China

Last week I posted about Toys "R" Us commemorating the founding of the People's Republic of China with a holiday sale featuring Nerf guns. I had seen the toy gun special at two different stores in Zhuhai, China. The very next day after writing the post, I happened to come across a Toys "R" Us store in neighboring Zhongshan. Unsurprisingly, this store offered the same deal.

Nerf gun National Day special at Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan, China


Despite the sale, perhaps some parents don't think the best way to celebrate the holiday is to buy a gun which shoots projectiles, even if cushiony. Fear not, Toys "R" Us had another holiday special, this one on Silverlit laser tag guns.

Silverlit laser tag National Day special at Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan, China


Some people may even find creative ways to use both types of toy guns at the same time.

For people who just aren't into any sort of gun, there were some other items on special as well. For example, if you fancy hamsters with a penchant for burgers, Hamsters in a House can do that.

Hamsters in a house National Day special at Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan, China


Notably, according to the sign this special didn't start for two weeks until after the ones for the guns. I don't know why. I also don't know if these hamsters would appreciate a Nerf or Silverlit gun.

In any case, the month-long holiday promotion at Toys "R" Us ended today. This doesn't affect most toys sold there, but you will now have to pay more for some guns and rodents.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Toys "R" Us Celebrates National Day in China with a Special Deal on Toy Guns


"Golden week Toys Fun" promotion at Toys "R" US in China
A "Golden week Toys Fun" promotion at a Toys "R" Us in Zhuhai, China

Whether in Mudanjiang far to the north or in Zhongshan far to the south, during recent years I have shared some of the National Day sales I have come across in China. Recently in Zhuhai, a city bordering Zhongshan on China's southeastern coast, I saw a promotion that might strike some people as more notable than others because of the retailer and products involved.

The promotion was at Toys "R" Us. Although the U.S. based company no longer has stores in its home country, stores still exist elsewhere, including China. Asia in particular has been a bright spot, and the company hopes to sell its stores there, though there are complications at the moment.

So I wasn't very surprised to see a Toys "R" Us promotion for National Day at two different stores in Zhuhai. And I wasn't surprised the "Golden Week" holiday sale lasts for over a month. And I also wasn't surprised by the "I ♥ China" roller coaster on some of the signs.

Portion of Toys "R" Us "Golden week Toys Fun" sign with "I ♥ China" rollercoaster


But I will admit, they did do something I didn't see coming. They commemorated the founding of the People's Republic of China by featuring a special price for a Nerf toy guns combo — the N-Strike Elite Retaliator and the Microshots N-Strike Elite Firestrike.



Save 49.9 yuan! (about U.S. $7.25)


Retaliate against who? The signs didn't specifically say.

In any case, the special on Nerf guns reminded me of my old posts about children in China conducting "war training exercises". Now, to commemorate the founding of the People's Republic of China they can do it at a discount.