Hong Kong celebrated its mothers yesterday with bouquets of blooms, family get-togethers and dining out - plus a number of ideas aimed at making their lives easier.
To celebrate Mother's Day, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong invited 12 families - some made up of five generations - to mark the day at a banquet in a Hung Hom hotel.
The party used the occasion to urge the government to introduce more family-friendly policies to achieve social harmony and ease the difficulties of working mothers.
The proposals include setting up a family commission, subsidising kindergartens and offering rent subsidises to encourage voluntary groups to open day-time nurseries.
Throughout the city florists and restaurants reported brisk business, with sales about 30 per cent higher than last year.
The day began early in the Flower Market in Mong Kok and the alleys were packed with people.
Even though prices were about 20 per cent higher than on normal days, demand was strong, with roses, carnations and lilies the most popular.
'People are willing to pay more for flowers this year, perhaps because of the stock market boom,' said Bowie Cheung, a sales assistant at Wan King Garden Art.
Office worker Daisy Young, who bought a bouquet of roses for her mother, said: 'Buying flowers, going to yum cha together are standard celebrations. I do not think I need to buy very expensive flowers. Mother will be very happy if the children can share more time with her.'
Florence Chong, 17, who with her sister had queued for over one hour at King Wah Chinese Restaurant in Mong Kok, said: 'It seems all Hong Kong families have gone out for lunch. There are just so many people. But it has been a pleasant wait. It is a pleasant Sunday to celebrate the person who brought us into this world.'
Many restaurants in Mong Kok reported full bookings for dinner.
Restaurants were expecting a 30 per cent increase in turnover, compared with a normal Sunday.