The Spring Festival (also called Chinese New Year) is one of the biggest annual festivals in the world. Families try to re-unite which often means that people whose life-styles are diverging from that of their parents must try to reconcile their lives with hometown tradition.
So arises a new occupation: the boyfriend (or girlfriend) for hire:
China Central Televison America explains this to Americans:
Growing number of Chinese women “renting” boyfriends for New Year’s
February 23, 2015
A growing trend in China is the sale of fake boyfriend rental services, particularly on China’s largest online marketplace, Taobao. Many young women are buying these services as a way to stave off marriage pressure from their parents.
Unmarried female migrants returning home to celebrate Chinese New Year, often face reprimands from extended family members about their unmarried status. For many women in China, if they’re not married by the time they’re 30, they are considered old maids, or they could also face gossip for being abnormal.
To prevent such a reaction, many rent a boyfriend for the Chinese New Year for anywhere from 1,000 RMB ($160) to 10,000 RMB($1,599) a day, men put their companionship up for sale. Romantic “extras” — such as holding hands, going to the movies, cuddling, — cost extra, according to a Foreign Affairs report.
According to report, there are an estimated seven million unmarried women between the ages of 25-34 in urban areas in China. Around seven percent of highly-educated women won’t be married until they are 45.