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.
Psy and CY flip-flops among Lunar New Year fair's hot items
Stalls operators at Victoria Park say sales have been strong this year
Hello Kitty helium balloons, stuffed toys and silky dog outfits. These are some of the more popular items still up for grabs at the Lunar New Year fair, which ends tomorrow morning.
"It's really easy to make money off kids," said one vendor, who claimed to make a 60 per cent profit on each balloon he sells for HK$35. His takings are maximised as he does not need to rent a booth, which this year cost as much as HK$135,000.
Trendy items, such as singing Psy dolls and plastic glasses with no lenses, popularised by Korean sitcoms, are also selling well, as some vendors slash their prices to clear their stock.
"It's hard to find these [glasses] in the UK, and they're only HK$20," said tourist Stacy Chan, 26.
As for the pan-Democrats with a presence at the fair in Victoria Park, they have found fair-goers are supporting their cause by snapping up satirical "Filibuster" towels and "Step on CY" flip-flops from their booths.
Civic Party leader Audrey Eu Yuet-mee has been coming to the fair every day to write auspicious couplets on red paper banners, which sell for HK$20 each.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the fair, food vendors are drawing crowds with creative snacks, such as fried quail eggs on a stick and seafood crêpes, as well as more traditional fare, such as smelly tofu, dragon floss candy and red bean pudding.
Flower booths are also doing brisk business, with fragrant narcissus, miniature orchids and citrus plants among the most popular selections.
But for some sellers, the annual Lunar New Year fair is neither about profits nor politics.
Pupils from local secondary schools make up nearly 10 per cent of the booth operators and many are donating their proceeds to charity.
"We are raising money for Orbis, a charity that works to prevent childhood blindness," said Kenneth Fung Kin-kwan, a Form Five pupil at Diocesan Boys' School.
"Volunteering at the fair has helped me and my classmates learn a lot about how to run a business and interact with customers in a chaotic setting.
"We're proud of the products that we've designed ourselves. Even if we don't make any profit, we'll donate HK$2,000 to the charity," he said.