According to the BBC’s Celia Hatton, the traditional holiday is a time of dread for single women across the country, especially those fast approaching the age of 30.

Like the plot of a bad rom-com movie, women in China heading home from work in the city to their families need to show they’ve had some success with the opposite sex.

“I’m pretty old – I’m almost 30 – but I’m still single. I’m under lots of pressure. My sisters and my relatives all ask me why I’m not married. When they call me, I’m scared to pick up the phone.” said Ding Na, a young woman living in the northeast of China.

Luckily men are for hire online to accompany women who can’t face the shame of commuting home to attend family events and dinners without a partner. Done on the cheap, single ladies can hire a boyfriend for around £32 a day, though extras, like a chaste kiss on the cheek, can set you back an additional £5.

Strangely, there is also an additional charge from some would-be-gigolos if they have to “talk to old people” during family occasions.

Man-hire internet sites are popular. “Not getting any younger and still dreading facing the nagging parents? Need a boyfriend to face the family?” reads one ad on Taoboa, a Chinese version of eBay, according to The Daily Telegraph

According to ‘Mr. Zhou’, a 24-year-old man for hire, women “just want someone to go with them to their hometown for three days, just to meet their parents and let them know they have a boyfriend.” Zhou told Canada’s The Globe and Mail.

Females over 30, or even those in their late 20’s in China, are often cruelly referred to as ‘leftover women’.

Main image: A woman at Beijing Railway Station heading home for the New Year’s holidays (Getty images)