Hong Kong Well-wishing Festival

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 February, 2011, 12:00am

Feb 11-17, 10am-10pm,
Lam Tsuen Wishing Square

The annual trip to the wishing trees in Lam Tsuen, until recently, was one of the best-preserved traditions in Hong Kong. Over Lunar New Year, hopefuls could come to one of two banyan trees in the village to write wishes on joss paper before attaching an orange and throwing it up into the tree's branches, in the belief that, should the orange get stuck, the wish will come true.

But as with many traditions in Hong Kong, the festivities have been somewhat sanitised since an accident in 2005 which led to two injuries. This year, partly to aid the recovery of the trees and partly to avoid danger at any cost, there will be a throwing competition in Lam Tsuen, in which competitors can test their mettle by tossing their orange into a replica tree.

Of the two original trees, the larger banyan tree is referred to as the spirit tree, whereas the smaller is used for wishes which focus more on earth-based pursuits such as career, wealth, relationships and health.

It's best to aim high with a throwing arm but be careful not to get carried away with demands, however, as it is said that if the orange doesn't get stuck it is because the wish is too greedy. A free shuttle bus will be available from Tai Po MTR to Lam Tsuen Wishing Square.

Lam Tsuen, Tai Po, free entry. Inquiries: 2638 3678