Valentine's Day, 5th day of New Year liven businesses

Taipei (The China Post/ANN) - Local restaurants yesterday experienced a sales boost due to Valentine's Day, which coincided with the fifth day of the ongoing Chinese New Year holiday - a day which most restaurants reopen for business.

Almost all major restaurants around the country were reportedly fully booked due to the convergence of the two holidays.

A spokesperson of a local restaurant told the Central News Agency that they had received countless calls from people looking to book a table for family gatherings. In the past, most people called to book a table on Valentine's Day for a romantic dinner, the spokesperson explained.

Moreover, due to a higher demand for flowers on Valentine's Day, prices for a bouquet of roses rose significantly to NT$1,200 (US$40), the highest in nearly a decade.

The price surge was also due to a limited supply of flowers during the New Year break, according to flower vendors in Taipei.

President and First Lady

To celebrate Valentine's Day, President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday posted a photograph of himself and first lady Chow Mei-ching on his Facebook page.

In the photograph, Ma is seen eating dessert during a national banquet, while Chow, who is seated next to him, looks at her husband with a frown on her face.

Ma said that the photograph had been framed and is currently sitting on his desk at the Presidential Office.

At the bottom of the photograph, a caption reads: "How did I end up marrying this kind of man?" Ma explained that for him, the photograph epitomizes happiness.

This year Valentine's Day falls on the fifth day of Chinese New Year, the president pointed out, adding that Valentine's Day is not only a holiday for lovers, but also a day for people to express their love and gratitude for those close to them.

Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival

Meanwhile, in New Taipei City's Pingxi District, a giant heart-shaped sky lantern, along with thousands of smaller lanterns, were set off last night to officially kick off the district's annual sky lantern festival.

New Taipei's Tourism and Travel Department said "love" will be the main theme for this year, because "2013" is a homophone for "love you for a lifetime" in Mandarin.

On Feb. 17 and 24, thousands of paper lanterns are expected to light up the sky.

  • 2015 Chevrolet Trax small SUV rolls back to America 5 hours ago
    2015 Chevrolet Trax small SUV rolls back to America

    For the past two years, car shoppers from Acapulco to Winnipeg could wander into their Chevy dealers and kick the tires on a city-sized sport utility vehicle named the Trax — and about 90,000 have done so. Today, Chevy revealed the version of the Trax it will bring to the United States, for those less well-heeled buyers who want the shape of an SUV without the window sticker they usually carry.

  • Ford Transit Skyliner concept revives the ultra-luxury van 8 hours ago
    Ford Transit Skyliner concept revives the ultra-luxury van

    “Once you do stand-up, you don’t want to go back.” No, we’re not talking about comedy, but rather an emerging trend in luxury transport that’s bringing us ever taller, more capacious, more pimpdillyicious limousines. The quote came from a Ford designer, Tim Stoehr, predicting an increase in interest in limos based on big vans like the new Transit. Of course, these are nothing new; up-fitters have taken quite kindly to the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, and apparently Ford is chomping at the bit to get in on the action, too. So Ford enlisted the help of the largest Ford dealer in the world, Galpin Auto Sports in Van Nuys, Calif., to help design and build its first super-lux Transit concept, dubbed the Skyliner.

  • Driving the 2016 BMW X5 eDrive, the plugged-in SUV 13 hours ago
    Driving the 2016 BMW X5 eDrive, the plugged-in SUV

    Automakers worldwide have gradually (some would say grudgingly) attempted to make their high-profit and highly popular SUVs as efficient and clean-running as their lower weight passenger cars — namely through the grafting of a plug-in hybrid system.

  • Amazon to release smartphone later this year: report
    Amazon to release smartphone later this year: report

    Amazon is preparing to release a smartphone in the second half of 2014, thrusting itself into a market already crowded with Apple and Samsung models, The Wall Street Journal reported. The company aims to announce its new product by the end of June and ship to customers by the end of September in time for the holidays, the Journal said in a Friday report, citing unnamed people briefed on the matter. Amazon, it said, hopes to differentiate its phone from other models with a screen that displays hologram-like three-dimensional images, which can be viewed without special glasses. Earlier this month the retailer unveiled a new media streaming device, Amazon Fire TV, which it touted as simplifying the experience of watching video online.

  • Malaysia flight's co-pilot tried to make cellphone call - report
    Malaysia flight's co-pilot tried to make cellphone call - report

    Investigators probing the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 suspect that the co-pilot of the jetliner tried to make a call with his cellphone after the plane was diverted from its scheduled route, Malaysia's New Straits Times reported sources as saying on Saturday. The newspaper cited unidentified investigative sources as saying the attempted call from co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid's phone was picked up by a cellphone tower as the plane was about 200 nautical miles northwest of the west coast state of Penang.