SIBU: The festive mood is here as the Chinese New Year celebration is around the corner.

Vibrant red lanterns and other decorative items have already been on sale in many shops to cater for those who intend to get an early start to their CNY decorations.

The five-foot ways outside many premises have been beautifully decorated to help customers make their selections.

Traditionally, most of the celebrants here would do last-minute shopping. This year is no exception.

The locals have started to buy decorative items as the in-thing to up the celebration mood.

Shops selling decorative items are now ‘painted’ in red as the colour is a sign of prosperity to the Chinese.

To commemorate the Year of the Rat, the shops are also following the trend whereby some decorative items are produced in the shape of the animal.

These include wall-hanging items, prosperity couplets, embroidery, door poster, ornaments, fire-cracker decors and papercut posters.

The festive mood is in the air here as Chinese New Year celebration is around the corner.

Lee, proprietor of SuperSave, a chain of budget shops in town, said annually she would receive streams of customers looking for decorative items.

Buying such items has become a norm for celebrants.

“People here look for not only quality but also affordable decorative items. As we are importing them in bulk from China, our prices are cheaper for most items. This is a great saving for shoppers,” she said.

With years of experience on what the customers want, she added that her shops sold more varieties of the items than elsewhere.