Tag Archives: chinese new year

Wanchai market for all your chinese lunar new year purchases

The Chinese lunar new year brings a shopping bonanza to Wan chai market. Everyday no matter the weather, people turn up in droves to look at home decorations and the latest lunar new year fashion. It is tradition to wear new clothes during the new year period, and this extends to underwear and home furnishings. Yup, you can get almost anything in the “Chinese new year red”.

Here are some photos to show you what it’s like.


First up, underwear. If you fancy a bit of gold “fuk“( pronounced foook meaning wealth and luck), well, you’re in luck. Go superman.


Next up, red socks, stockings and slippers. It’s a bit chilly and these red footwear and accessories might get you a few compliments. 


The stalls selling kids traditional clothing get a lot of attention. Lots of mommies just have to stop and browse. You’ll see lots of kids in traditional garb walking around, schools are asking kids to come in festive attire.


Brighten up your interior and sofa with red cushions? Lots of cushions getting lots of attention.


Red ribbons for your own designs.

All sorts of hanging items.

If you’re looking for lanterns for your doorway, hit Tai Yuen street.

This stall selling cute roosters can be found along Cross street


This is the seasonal stall. Usually a hat shop, they convert fully to CNY decorative items for the 3 week season.


If you’re looking for festive snack trays, you’ll find them at the household shops along Wan Chai road.


I was wondering why this bakery had developed a mass following, people were hogging the pavement. Everyone was waiting for 5pm when discounts apply to all the baked goods.

These baked puff snacks in particular seemed to be getting a lot of attention.

All this lasts until Chinese New Year which is on the 28th of January. Many stall owners will be on vacation for two weeks after that, visiting relatives in China or just taking a break. Everything gets a little pricier during this time, but as chinese people say, it’s only once a year!

Let’s not forget the goodies for the table, red melon nuts and gold chocolates.

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Chinese New Year Festivities at Hopewell Center

The stage at Hopewell Center’s open piazza has been decorated with the same Chinese New Year theme. It’s a nice stage and today I noticed the signboard display of all the activities for the next few weeks. 


What drew my attention was… the queue. Why do HK people so love queuing? 


As far as I could tell, nothing was happening on stage yet. What were they waiting for so patiently?


According to the notice board, it’s the chinese red banner writing. I suppose people come here because it’s free. There are other roadside stalls that have popped up, for example the one along Johnston road near comix home base, but those calligraphers need to earn a living so there’s a fee for sure.

Here are the schedules:


Red banner writing. If you missed today’s session they have a final one next Thursday.


Lion dance. This is always fun for all the family. Make a date for the 10th of Feb.


Ok, not sure what it’s like getting your fortune told by dice… could be that you’re gambling with your future 😉 anyway that event already happened, sorry.

The orchestra is playing though on the 3rd of Feb.


Finally the lucky bird fortune telling. I suppose it could be a rooster picking out your big decisions. Don’t be a chicken about it.

And music on the 9th and 14th of Feb.

Sounds like fun if you’re in Wanchai and willing to brace the queues.

Chinese New Year 2017 Lantern Display at the Avenue

….looks just like the 2016 Chinese New Year display. It is still very impressive and they did a good job keeping those lanterns (customised with the name Lee Tung Avenue on them) looking clean, smart and surprisingly new. It makes sense to recycle them especially since they are large and look like decent quality to begin with. 


I have to say it really sets the mood of the street, it’s nicely festive and sets it up for great photos no matter the weather or angle.


They also got out the faux Oriental Botero sculptures along the street. I’ve seen several tourists and locals posing for pictures beside these statues.


My friend NDS who runs a corporate florist in London was particularly impressed with these cherry blossom trees. I said “hmm.. it could be fake.” And she said “Nooooo way”.

So guess what. I took a close up.


Yup, sorry ND, they are real trees but fake flowers stuck onto the branches. I guess we’re both half right and half wrong?!!

It must have taken a lot of manual work to complete that project.

Finally, cast a look next door at Hopewell Center across the street.


And decide where you might like to take your selfies or bring your visitors for a stroll at night.

Chinese New Year Festivities at the Blue House

The Blue House in Wan Chai is a historic site that serves the community as a place to gather weekly for an assortment of talks, view small exhibitions of Hong Kong’s past and a hodge podge of books and toys. 

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The event space is a small area of roughly 250 square feet, furniture and randomly placed bric-a-brac reduces it to roughly 100 square feet of walkable area. Pretty small. It’s up some stairs (possibly to avoid flooding in the old days) and this is certainly an inconvenience to the disabled or those confined to a pram. 

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The extensive renovations taking place behind this facade is estimated to continue for the rest of this year, but it looks like there’ll be some open areas and  rooms to hold yet more bric-a-brac.

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Of the four little rooms on the ground floor, the first and second are blocked off with simple plaster board and serve as a makeshift notice board. 

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The third is the current event space area and the fourth is often full of guys wearing white undershirts sitting around. I’m unsure of what they do in there but perhaps it’s a rest area of sorts. Maybe it’s where the mahjong table is placed. 

An open-air rectangular clear glass aquarium full of small koi and goldfish make a nice pit stop if you have kids in tow.

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The Blue House has its own decorations for this Chinese New Year. Red lanterns hang out front, a very cute knitting of a monkey couple adorn the corner street sign. 

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On the “notice board”, a range of announcements compete for attention. If you’re looking for something to do in Wan Chai, you might want to stop by and have a look. 

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You can volunteer to help out with the Southorn community during Chinese New Year (2016) though you’d have to speak Cantonese, or take part in the stamp making workshop later in the month on the 27th of February.

Chinese New Year decorations at Lee Tung Avenue

The renovation of shops on Lee Tung Avenue continue beneath the surface. Below the pedestrianised street, the much narrower shopping strip is rushing for completion. Accessible either by escalators or the lifts in the middle of the development, the basement seems cramped compared to the shops in street level. The low ceilings were a sharp contrast to all the glamorous lobbies you see on the ground floor. I suppose this is where the developer thought they could cut costs. 

A signboard has been put up by the escalators detailing the layout and listing the retail and F&B leases.

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The Avenue has dressed up for Chinese New Year with lots of red lanterns and cherry blossom trees lining strategic parts of the street. 

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There are some special events on, chinese tea appreciation in the event venue, free popcorn and cotton candy carts placed at different ends of the street.

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 This could be to draw people to view the shops, or to please the various viewers who came to visit the apartments for sale. 

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There’s also free red packets if you spend over 300 HKD, although I’m not sure if this is really that attractive as an incentive to purchase anything.

  

CNY events happening at Lee Tung Avenue
 Finally there’s still plenty of construction workers rolling heavy carts around with rough equipment. Do be mindful getting in and out of lifts and not to let them run into you while you’re admiring the decorations.