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.

Lantern Festival traffic and fireworks cause smog in Beijing

Lanterns are lit in Beijing to mark the official end to the Lunar New Year period. Photo: EPA

Millions of migrant workers flowed back to cities on Sunday, formally marking the end of celebrations for the Lunar New Year period in China.

Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 4:13am

Lunacy of Lunar New Year travel must spur hukou reform

According to initial estimates, some 3.4 billion passenger trips were made during the Lunar New Year, an increase of 8.6 per cent from last year. Photo: Xinhua

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.

21 Feb 2013 - 5:46am

Flat sales down because of holiday

David Chan, Director of Ricacorp Properties. Photo: SCMP

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.

20 Feb 2013 - 4:40am

Officials chided for taking too many days off for Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year fireworks light up the sky in Changsha, Hunan province. Photo: Xinhua

Long holidays can sometimes be too much of a good thing – as officials from Gansu and Hunan provinces are now learning.

19 Feb 2013 - 1:01pm 1 comment

Travel agency rebuked for Lunar New Year hotel fiasco

Rocky Wong, general manager of 3A Holidays (left), is besieged by reporters after appearing before the Travel Industry Council in North Point. Photo: Dickson Lee

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.

19 Feb 2013 - 7:27am 1 comment

Lunar holiday timing gives lift to cargo traffic

Stanley Hui expects a surge in passenger travel this month.

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.

18 Feb 2013 - 3:28am

Insider bears emerge ahead of Lunar New Year holiday

The Government of Singapore Investment Corp lowered its stake in crude oil processor Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical to below 5 per cent of the issued capital after the stock rose 19 per cent from HK$2.56 on January 25. Photo: Bloomberg

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.

18 Feb 2013 - 4:05am

China Digest, February 18, 2013

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.

18 Feb 2013 - 4:57am

Only time can tell what to make of this 'wicked' lot

Heung Yee Kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat draws fortune sticks for Hong Kong in Che Kung Temple. Photo: Felix Wong

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?"

18 Feb 2013 - 5:09am

City Digest, February 18, 2013

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.

18 Feb 2013 - 4:34am

It's time for Hong Kong to make its own luck

Annual Taoist ritual to pick Hong Kong's fortune stick at the Che Kung Temple should be let go of. Photo: Felix Wong

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.

18 Feb 2013 - 1:59pm 1 comment

Mainland Lunar New Year spending up 15 per cent

Customers scrutinise gold jewellery at a store in Xuchang, Henan province. Jewellery sales across the mainland surged 38 per cent during the Lunar New Year 'golden week'. Photo: Reuters

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.

17 Feb 2013 - 5:38am

Revellers in face masks setting off fireworks sparks rethink of ritual

Lunar New Year fireworks in Beijing was notably muted following government appeals to reduce air pollution. Photo: AP

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?

17 Feb 2013 - 1:59am 2 comments

Migrant mainland workers' happy homecoming

Snapshots with fellow passengers on the journey home and a New Year reunion for Yuan Zhitong, Zhang Junmei, their son Jinkang, and other family members. Photos: Helene Franchineau / Illustration: Henry Wong

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

15 Feb 2013 - 1:15pm

Shopping malls report strong retail sales for Lunar New Year holiday

Shopping malls report strong retail sales for Lunar New Year holiday

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.

14 Feb 2013 - 4:09am