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.
Good fortune awaits as the Snake slithers in
Phila Siu and Ng Kang-chung
Chill out Hongkongers, the economy in the Year of the Snake will be better than it was last year.
That is the verdict of fung shui masters as the city bids farewell to the dragon and greets the snake tomorrow morning.
The fung shui masters differ in their forecasts of what lies ahead for Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and the government.
"The economy will be better than last year, although it will still not be very bustling," master Mak Ling-ling said. "But for C.Y., his Chinese zodiac sign is the horse, and that is not a good thing in the Year of the Snake. In Chinese we have a saying that the snake winds around the legs of the horse when the horse tries to move."
Master Ma Lai-wah forecast the economy would continue to grow but cautioned that people would not have more money in their pockets until August.
The key is to invest in exports and avoid speculation in property, as prices will rise and fall about 10 per cent several times, he predicted. "And be ready for more disharmony between Hongkongers and mainlanders, because the cultural differences will get deeper."
Ma said Leung had the characteristics of an eagle, which do not get along well with snakes.
But Raymond Lo, popularly known as "Fung Shui Lo", predicted an easier year ahead for Leung. "The Year of the Snake is symbolised this year by water sitting on top of fire," Lo said. "The animal sign for horse does not directly clash with the snake. So it will be a comparatively more stable year for Mr Leung.
"For people born in the Year of the Horse, a snake year brings the flower of romance, so they can expect a more sociable year. In short, Mr Leung will still face challenges but he will remain OK."
As for Hong Kong's economy, Lo said the fire symbol attached to a year often generated optimism, and the economy should turn more stable compared with the dragon year.
"Banking is [associated with the element of] metal and it needs fire to melt it into useful tools. And finance and stock market are more related to fire," he said. "We may expect improvements in the economy."