Watch This | Festive mood fills HK's Lunar New Year fairs
Visiting Lunar New Year fairs is a traditional activity in Hong Kong to welcome the new year. This year, there are a total of 15 fairs across the territory which kicked off on Sunday to sell flowers and festive goods.
The fair in Victoria Park of Hong Kong is the largest one, with flower stalls crowded with people choosing flowers and plants for home decorations to celebrate the Chinese festival. Some of them asked stall owners about the price, some discussed the planting method, and some stopped to take pictures, creating a festive atmosphere.
A Hong Kong resident surnamed Chiu went to the fair with his wife and bought two pots of kumquats. They were bright in color and had a meaning of good luck, Chiu said with a broad smile.
"In fact, flowers are a must-have for Hong Kong people during Chinese New Year," Yip Tak Ping, president of Hong Kong History and Culture Society, said, holding a copy of a Hong Kong newspaper in 1927.
The newspaper had detailed records of the Lunar New Year fairs, including how to get a license and what items to sell, which can prove that in the 1920s, the New Year fairs of a certain scale already existed in Hong Kong, Yip, also a lecturer at the Education University of Hong Kong, told Xinhua.
Yip said that in south China's Guangdong Province, where the climate is warm, people buy flowers, not only to decorate, but also take the beautiful meaning of flowers because in Cantonese, the words "flower" and "getting rich" sound similar.
In the Mong Kok flower market, a retail and wholesale place for flowers in Hong Kong, was also a popular destination for flower shoppers. Mr. Hui, an owner of the orchid store, said that orchids have a long blooming period and has always been hot items in the Lunar New Year fairs.
"This year's orchids are generally beautiful and of good quality, and the number of orders have met our expectations," Hui said.
Besides flowers, there are also Chinese New Year couplets and various decorations with the theme of the Year of the Dragon on sale at the fairs. After five years, the fair at Victoria Park has resumed stalls selling dry, wet goods and fast food, creating a one-stop platform for people to buy New Year's products.
Hong Kong resident Ms. Suen excitedly showed the reporter various kinds of flowers, Chinese New Year couplets and dried fruit preserves she bought in the Victoria Park's fair.
"I planned to spend around 5,000 Hong Kong dollars for New Year shopping," Suen said, wishing everyone a happy Chinese New Year.
This is the first Lunar New Year after the Hong Kong society has returned to normalcy, attracting many Chinese mainland tourists to visit Hong Kong. Ms. Zhao from Northeast China's Jilin Province was one of them.
"In the north, we don't have many chances to visit outdoor flower markets in winter. I'd like to get a taste of celebrating Lunar New Year in Hong Kong," Zhao said.
Since the Lunar New Year fairs have opened, stall owners have been busy restocking, sorting out new goods and packing. Although they did not get much rest, they said it was a blessing to be busy, which made them feel hopeful in the new year.