Lunar New Year 2013
Lunar New Year 2013 takes place on Sunday, February 10. It is based on cycles of the lunar phase and for the Chinese it is also known as the 'Spring Festival'. Chinese New Year celebrations begin the evening preceding Chinese New Year's Day and provide an opportunity for families to get together for dinner. Food will include pork, duck, chicken and sweet delicacies and the family will end the night by setting off firecrackers. This year (2013) is the year of the snake.
Two of the millions of workers who went home for the Lunar New Year holiday took our video reporter along, offering a glimpse of joy and sadness in the life of a migrant family
Millions of migrant workers flowed back to cities on Sunday, formally marking the end of celebrations for the Lunar New Year period in China.
The Lunar New Year travel crunch this year was worse than ever. It's deeply worrying because it underlines the distortions in China's urbanisation.
Just 88 flats were sold from February 11 to 17 on the 50 major housing estates in Hong Kong monitored by agency Ricacorp Properties, down 19 per cent from 108 the previous week.
Long holidays can sometimes be too much of a good thing – as officials from Gansu and Hunan provinces are now learning.
The tourism watchdog on Monday rebuked a travel agency manager accused of leaving mainland tourists stranded without hotel accommodation after he claimed it had been impossible to verify whether their reserved rooms were in fact available.
Air cargo throughput in Hong Kong grew 21.2 per cent last month year on year to 334,000 tonnes, according to the Airport Authority.
But passenger volume was down 5.1 per cent to 4.6 million mainly because the Lunar New Year fell in February, whereas last year it was in January.
Directors were bearish in the run-up to the Lunar New Year, with 86 companies reporting disposals of their shares by directors worth a HK$998.6 million from January 21 to February 8.
In value terms, selling of shares by directors in the past three weeks accounted for nearly 93 per cent of total insider turnover, compared with 35 per cent for the same three-week period last year.
Sales of consumer goods totalled 1.7 billion yuan (HK$2.09 billion) for the week-long Lunar New Year holiday in Lanzhou, a 21 per cent increase from the holiday last year, Xinhua reports, citing figures from the municipal commerce bureau.
In the annual ceremony at Sha Tin's Che Kung temple, Heung Yee Kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat drew a stick bearing the number 95. The message on the stick, loosely translated, read: "In a splendid carriage you embarked on your journey. Today, you came home barefoot. Is it that you failed the imperial examination? Or did you lose all your gold in business?"
About 30 Civil Human Rights Front members protested outside Stanley Prison yesterday in support of activist Koo Sze-yiu, who was jailed this month for nine months for desecrating Chinese and Hong Kong flags at two separate rallies last year.
No matter how one spins these fortune sticks at the Che Kung Temple, as Heung Yee Kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat tried to, this is one of those "rituals" we need to let go of.
Ministry of Commerce figures show spending of 539 billion yuan (HK$665 billion) for the holiday period. Sales of groceries were up nearly 10 per cent, jewellery sales rose 38 per cent and garment sales rose more than 6 per cent, the ministry said.
The spectacle of Beijingers wearing face masks as they set off firecrackers in smog-choked streets at the start of the Lunar New Year led many to ask themselves a question: is the noisy custom appropriate, given the mainland's deteriorating air quality?
Shopping malls reported an influx of customers, bringing strong sales, over the Lunar New Year but smaller shops said trade had dipped as Hongkongers tightened their belts at the start of the Year of the Snake.