Festive HK prepares for lunar holiday
Although Hong Kong is an international city with Western holidays, the lunar
New Year is still the most important festival for its citizens.
feels festive walking around Central or Tsim Sha Tsui, as traditional red
lanterns hang seemingly everywhere - at shopping malls, office towers, parks and
As a local tradition, peach blossom trees are "planted"
at Times Square in Causeway Bay and the International Financial Center in
Central, as well as many shopping centers as well.
Young people, especially
women, are spotted holding bundles of peach blossom branches that they will take
home to decorate their homes.
Peach blossom is believed to bring good luck,
especially for single individuals looking for a lover.
mini-orange trees - also for good luck - are another major decoration for
households during the holiday.
Although red ants have been discovered in the
city last month, flower markets in Mong Kok and Victoria Park have not been
affected too much.
Relevant departments have been strengthening the
quarantine work and anti-insect procedures for local and imported
Most flowers are more expensive this year, in part due to smaller
supply caused by cold weather.
Of course, being with family is the main theme
of the Spring Festival. In Hong Kong, it is a tradition for families to have
elaborate Cantonese feasts at cavernous restaurants.
According to the
catering sector, orders for festival dinners are up 10-20 percent from last
year, matching the peak recorded in 1997.
The Hong Kong Catering Industry
Association estimates turnover during the lunar New Year will be 5 percent
higher than last year, reaching about 6 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$769
Many young couples are rushing to register their marriage before
the Spring Festival. Registration quotas before Wednesday, the first day of the
new lunar year, are fully booked.
About 32,000 couples got married in the
first 10 months of 2004, a record high for the same period in the past five
The latest ACNielsen Hong Kong Consumer Confidence Index is at 99, the
highest level in 10 years.
To add an even more festive atmosphere to the
city, the Hong Kong Tourism Board has arranged the 2005 Cathay Pacific
International Chinese New Year's Night Parade on February 9.
A total of 12
floats along with 16 international and 13 local performing groups will
participate in the event.
The Symphony of Lights show will be bigger and
better than ever with rooftop pyrotechnics from February 11 to 15.
by the Tourism Board, the pyrotechnic displays will provide some glamor.
Bank of China Tower, Hopewell Center and Sun Hung Kai Center, will showcase
newly improved lighting effects to make the show even more spectacular.
traditional fireworks extravaganza in Victoria Harbor has also been arranged for