Spring Festival, which is generally a joyous time in China, does not always bring happiness.
Sudden deaths from heart attacks, wounds from fireworks as well as gastrointestinal disease were top threats during the past holiday.
According to the Shenyang first-aid center in Liaoning province, the death toll reached 259 in the city during the seven-day holiday. Most of the deaths were caused by cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, an increase of 4.1 percent from the last Spring Festival.
"It's a peak season for heart attacks, which are usually caused by drinking during the festival," said Xu Ping, a doctor at Shenzhou Hospital in Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province.
Exhaustion from unusually long sessions of playing cards or mahjong was also a major factor, Xu added.
Shenyang is not the only city facing such problems. The Baoding first-aid center in Hebei province received 125 patients suffering from heart disease, up by 32 percent.
"The festival has become a 'sweet torment' now. There were so many family gatherings and parties, which pushed me to drink a lot and stay up late," said Ji Guangzhong, who went back to his hometown in Jilin province for the seven-day vacation.
"Usually we drink wine and empty a glass each time. I even threw up many times," the 24-year-old added.
Ji was not the only one suffering from the holiday excess. According to a survey launched by the popular Chinese website Sohu, the top three places where people like drinking most are Beijing, Shandong province and Hebei province.
"We can't avoid drinking during holidays. It's a kind of tradition," said Zhang Shunan, who took part in the survey. The 29-year-old woman also got drunk with friends during the holiday.
The feasting during the holiday also causes some to suffer gastrointestinal diseases.
Hong Bo, a doctor at Tianjin No 4 Central Hospital, said gastrointestinal problems are usually caused by overeating, irregular eating or unhygienic food.
"I had to visit four relatives a day and have meals at their homes, so I had four meals, which were full of meat, a day. How can my stomach handle that?" said Ouyang Nan, of Tianjin.
In addition to heart disease, setting off fireworks is also a danger.
"I will never set off firecrackers again. I did it for nearly 40 years, and never thought I would get hurt," said Li Zhongxiang, 62, who was hospitalized after his left eye was wounded by fireworks.
In Shenyang, eight people were blinded in fireworks accidents over the past Spring Festival.
1. What was the death toll in Shenyang during this Spring Festival?
2. What were the causes?
3. What can cause such health problems?
2. Most of the deaths were caused by cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, an increase of 4.1 percent from the last Spring Festival.
3. Drinking and eating to excess, and fireworks injuries
（中国日报网英语点津 Rosy 编辑）
About the broadcaster:
Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the US, including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is also fluent in Korean.