Hong Kong Super Fans Celebrate Chinese New Year with a Virtual Tour | travel

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The Hong Kong Tourism Board organized a virtual tour to usher in the Chinese New Year, this time the Year of the Ox. As the very first “super fans” of Hong Kong, we sat comfortably at home and digitally networked from Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and America to stroll through the charismatic Old Town Central and discover the cherished traditions while you are Check out florists, calligraphy flags, traditional cuisines for the Chinese New Year, and shops for their auspicious essentials.

A “Good Fortune Bag” with some of these auspicious essentials such as lucky jewelry, festive snacks, Fai Chun and more has already been given to us by the organizers, who let the Christmas spirit rise in the run-up to the virtual tour. Although the Covid-19 pandemic dampened annual celebrations, the virtual tour sped up tourism promotion by engaging with travel enthusiasts around the world.

The tour began with a visit to the city’s famous flower market in Prince Edward, Kowloon, where seasonal flowers and plants can be purchased that symbolize various congratulations. While the Chinese sacred lily is believed to bring prosperity to the whole family, walking three times clockwise around a peach blossom tree is considered a romantic experience.

According to tradition, walking clockwise around a peach blossom tree three times is considered a romantic experience (courtesy of Virginia Chan, Hong Kong Tourism Board).

Paying respect to the deities and praying for health and prosperity in the coming year was next as the guide flaunted some of Hong Kong’s architecturally beautiful and brightly decorated shrines. Guanyin Loan-Granting Day is another important custom among Hong Kong residents, falling on the 26th day of the first lunar month of each year.

Traditionally, the steps involved in borrowing guanyin are similar to those required to worship them.  In general, believers must prepare fresh fruit in five or six colors.  (Hong Kong Tourism Board)
Traditionally, the steps involved in borrowing guanyin are similar to those required to worship them. In general, believers must prepare fresh fruit in five or six colors. (Hong Kong Tourism Board)

The custom comes from the Guanyin Temple on Tai Ping Shan Street in Sheung Wan and testifies that fervent believers flock to the Guanyin temples and pray for the desired amount of “money” from Guanyin that will bring them good luck and happiness in the coming year Can bring wealth. Upon entering the temple, they must make their offerings and can then secure “loans” from Guanyin by making an incense offering, a lucky red paper drawing with the amount of money, and a “zodiac sign of wealth”.

The <a class=loan repayment process ends with burned tickets and a loud bang on the big drum. (Hong Kong Tourism Board)” title=”The loan repayment process ends with burned tickets and a loud bang on the big drum. (Hong Kong Tourism Board)”/>
The loan repayment process ends with burned tickets and a loud bang on the big drum. (Hong Kong Tourism Board)

These Guanyin loans are to be repaid at the end of the year and the believers are required to purchase a repayment ticket equal to the amount they wish to borrow during the loan repayment process. The streets of Hong Kong were decorated with red flags with Chinese calligraphy.

These are called fai chun, a traditional decoration that is hung on doors or walls to bring good luck and prosperity. The camera gave a wide-angle view of the Fai-chun-decked street and then focused on Dane Cheng, who is the executive director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board and has been referred to as a “master of calligraphy”.

Fai Chun is a traditional decoration hung on doors or walls to bring good luck and prosperity (Hong Kong Tourism Board)
Fai Chun is a traditional decoration hung on doors or walls to bring good luck and prosperity (Hong Kong Tourism Board)

As a greeting to the Super Fans, Dang Cheng dipped the calligraphy brush in empty ink and gave an insight into his painting skills while he prepared a beautiful Fai Chun on site. The Super Fans were next educated about the “Kitchen God” who is believed to protect the family’s health.

It is believed that he loves sweets and can be bribed with a Chinese New Year candy box filled with traditional snacks and pickles.

Yiu Fung x Papery CNY Candy Box (Hong Kong Tourism Board)
Yiu Fung x Papery CNY Candy Box (Hong Kong Tourism Board)

Next up was the highly anticipated candy store visit when the guides gave an in-depth look at traditional snack shop Yiu Fung, who worked with creative printer Papery to wrap their favorite classic snacks in a beautifully designed CNY candy box. The box contains a pop-up mandarin plant, which is a symbol of good luck in Chinese tradition.

Hong Kong was energetic and looking high in festive activities, despite maintaining social distancing amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The perks offered by the Hong Kong Super Fans global fan engagement program are ample evidence of the revitalization of Hong Kong’s tourism industry and acceleration of its recovery plan after the borders reopened.

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