Up Your Luck in Hong Kong this Chinese New Year
Kick off the Year of the Dog with a visit to Hong Kong, where locals will show you how to amp up your luck for a fulfilling year ahead.
1. Visit Chinese New Year Flower Markets
Locals believe that a stroll in the bustling Chinese New Year flower markets brings good fortune, as blooms signify wealth in Chinese culture and many flowers and fruits symbolise good fortune. From the 24th day of the previous year to the morning of the first day of Chinese New Year, various flower markets will pop up all around Hong Kong — the one in Victoria Park is the largest. Entry is free, so be sure to pop by for a look.
Address: 1 Hing Fat Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island
2. Make a Wish at Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees
During Chinese New Year and other festivals, many Hongkongers would pay a visit to the Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees. People used to write their wishes on joss paper and throw it onto the tree after paying their respects. It’s believed that the wishes will come true if the joss paper doesn’t fall from the tree. Due to their popularity, the trees were at risk of being drowned in paper, so nowadays, wishes are made by tying joss paper to nearby wooden racks or imitation trees.
|Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree|
|Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree
Address: Lam Tsuen, Tai Po, New Territories
3. Worship at Temples to Bring Good Luck
Throughout the Chinese New Year period, the Wong Tai Sin and Che Kung temples are often busy. Worshippers compete to be the first to plant an incense stick at the altar for good luck when the clock strikes midnight on Chinese New Year’s Day; on the second day of Chinese New Year, which is the birthday of Che Kung, many head to Che Kung Temple to pray for his blessings. Beside the statue of the deity, there is a copper windmill. Turning it clockwise is believed to change your luck for the better and bring a smooth-sailing year ahead.
4. Boost Your Popularity
It’s believed that circling a peach blossom tree three times clockwise will crank up your charm for the year ahead. If petals end up on you, even better — an ideal spouse is headed your way. Already have a partner? Circle the peach blossom tree once to make your love stronger! Throughout the Chinese New Year period, some of Hong Kong’s major shopping malls will be decked out in peach blossoms. Pay them a visit for good luck and festive photos!
5. Taste Festive Foods
In preparation for Chinese New Year, Hongkongers stock up on festive treats which they offer guests in an ornate red snack box called ‘chuen hap’. You’ll often find some of ‘the eight sweets’ in local households: candied shredded coconut, lotus seeds, bamboo shoots, kumquat, lotus root, coconut ribbons, and winter melon. In addition to symbolising a sweet time in the year ahead, different treats bear different blessings: lotus root sounds like ‘plenty of surplus’ in Cantonese, deep-fried peanut pastries promises advancement, and the golden deep-fried sesame balls bring to mind a home full of wealth.
|Luk Kam Kee||Dried Seafood Street|
|Address: 5 Tai Ho Road, Tsuen Wan, New Territories; or, Shop 1, G/F, Fu Lee Commercial Building, 14-20 Pilkem House, Pilkem Street, Jordan, Kowloon||Address: Des Voeux Road West, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Island|