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.
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Among the thousands of people who flocked to Fong Ma Po village in Tai Po on Tuesday to make their new year wishes were William Ko and his girlfriend.
The couple, who are getting married next month, lament the fact they cannot afford a flat. "The prices are staggering," Ko said.
The couple wrote down "buying a flat soon" - one of the most common inscriptions on cards hanging from the village's famous tree in Lam Tsuen Wishing Square during the two-week festival.
Ko, whose girlfriend did not want to be named, said he would love to see the government roll out more reasonably priced properties under its My Home Purchase Plan.
He said they would continue to rent in Tsuen Wan while hoping the market dropped to an affordable level.
A real Chinese banyan tree stands at the centre of the square but it has been cordoned off since one of its branches, laden with papers and fruit, collapsed in 2005. A fake version is filling in until it revives.
The light weight of the orange plastic balls that replicate real fruit make it harder to get wishes up on to the tree.
Jason Leung, seven, succeeded at his fourth attempt to have his "wish" - doing well in his studies - lodge in a branch.
The Hong Kong Well-Wishing Festival runs until February 23.
Meanwhile, thousands of worshippers crammed into Che Kung Temple in Sha Tin yesterday to pray for good luck. The worshippers celebrated Che Kung - an ancient army general who was victorious against overwhelming odds.
Worshippers held up paper windmills - symbolising changing fortunes from bad to good.
Lily Wang, from Shenzhen, said her family went to the temple to pray for an auspicious start in the Year of the Snake.
She said she hoped the bad feelings that had been dividing Hongkongers and mainlanders could be ironed out in the year ahead.