Throughout the Chinese New Year period, theand temples are busy. Worshippers plant an incense stick at the altar for good luck during Chinese New Year. 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.
After turning the windmill, those seeking good fortune should hit the accompanying drums three times to show gratitude.
Locals believe that a stroll in the Chinese New Year flower markets brings good fortune, as blooms signify wealth in Chinese culture and many flowers and fruits symbolise good fortune.
Aside from flowers, you’ll also see pots of bright orange calamondin fruit at the markets. In Cantonese, the word for ‘calamondin’ sounds the same as the word for ‘fortune’, which is why the fruit is popular throughout Chinese New Year. Fruits that come with leaves attached symbolise fruitful romantic relationships.
Aside from romantic relationships, peach blossoms are also believed to improve your luck with people, bringing you helpful acquaintances and helping you steer clear of foes.
During Chinese New Year and other festivals, many Hongkongers would pay a visit to the. 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.
It’s said that the higher the joss paper lands on the tree, the easier it will be for your wish to come true.
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 promise advancement, and the golden deep-fried sesame balls bring to mind a home full of wealth.
In Cantonese, the word for ‘cake’ is identical in sound to the word for ‘tall’, so foods such as glutinous rice, turnip, and water chestnut cakes all symbolise growth.