Chinese New Year in Hong Kong

Posted on March 2, 2013 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

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Main & bottom left: A partial view of the CNY fireworks display at the harbour; bottom right: Chinese new year dinner party with friends


A slightly delayed post on the Chinese New Year festival, which has finally come to an end...

I cannot remember the last time I spent Chinese new year in Hong Kong or any Chinese-speaking cities, so it has been a rather rare occasion and experience for me. After a mad rush in Tokyo, I was glad to finally take time to rest and meet with friends whom I have not seen for a long time.

Chinese new year is the most celebrated festival in the Chinese-speaking society, and even in a city that rarely sleeps, many shops and restaurants would close for days in Hong Kong. However, being a Westernised city, many Hong Kongers no longer celebrate this festival and would rather spend their holidays abroad in nearby Asia or Australia and Europe etc.

As always, food plays an important part in Chinese new year, so I had an official excuse to indulge... Two days after I arrived from Tokyo, I was invited to two dinner parties on the same evening, I eventually went to one that I thought had a better view of the Chinese new year fireworks display ( and I miscalculated)! The view of the apartment is stunning, but we could barely see the fireworks display, however, it was still fun to catch up with friends and enjoy some delicious home cooking.



Traditional Chinese new year flowers


During the New Year, many shop owners like to hire lion dancers to perform in front of their shops to bring to bring good luck and fortune to the business in the new year. My friend and I happened to stumble upon one in Wanchai after our hike, which was very entertaining and fun to watch. However, with a consumption economy that is heavily dependent on the mainland Chinese tourists, will shops and businesses continue to flourish in the years to come? What will happen if the 'mainlanders' ( as the locals would call them) stop buying here?

The biggest challenge that faces the already congested Hong Kong is the increasing mainland Chinese tourists who flock to the city during the 12-day Chinese new year holiday. This year, there were over 380,000 ( the highest so far) and they could be easily spotted by their wheeled suitcases in shopping districts like Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui ( which I avoided like the plague).

There is growing resentment towards mainlanders among the locals ( similar feelings are emerging in Macau and Taiwan). Despite the economical benefits, many feel that their city has been 'invaded', from snatching up milk powder to luxury apartments and their mannerism, the mainlanders are causing much outrage here.

Will the mainlanders eventually buy up the entire Hong Kong ( or even the world)? A scary thought but it's feels like it's already happening... To what extend will the Hong Kongers do to protect their identities and land? Will the bubble eventually to burst? Only time will tell.


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Lion dance in Wanchai


This post was posted in Hong Kong, Travel and was tagged with Hong Kong, Chinese New year