WHILE the world looks forward to welcoming the new year with merrymaking, parents in Labasa have already started their back to school shopping.
The Janta Store in Labasa was full of shoppers who packed into the shop over the weekend with their children's book list for next year.
This newspaper caught up with Coqeloa resident, Monita Lal, who was busy buying school uniform materials and books for her two children.
Mrs Lal said it was easy for her to start doing her shopping now because books and material prices were cheap.
"During the back to school shopping period most of these materials are expensive and hard to get as people rush around to do their shopping," she said.
"The hype during the period is also depressing as we have to stand in long queues to pay up for our purchases.
Abhinesh Prasad of Namara in Labasa said it was easy and hassle free to begin his back to school shopping now compared with the rush in January.
"I brought in my three children's book list and have started buying them now to reduce the stress during the mad rush before school begins next year," he said.
Janta Store co-owner Vinod Khatri said the early rush was not new.
"The change happened just recently, about two years ago and it was really strange for us during the first time," he said.