Faith can go on its merry way, but get the festive spirit and shop

A view of holiday lighting decorations on trees and installations at an open plaza of a shopping district in Beijing. Photo: EPA

"Merry Christmas and Happy New Year" is probably the most frequently heard greeting these days in offices or on the street in Hong Kong. On the mainland, the story might be a little bit different.

Monday, 23 December, 2013, 8:21am 1 comment

Russians in Hong Kong prepare for Christmas celebrations

Father Denis Pozdnyaev at the church. Photo: Edward Wong

Just when you thought Christmas was over, a small but growing community in the city is busy preparing for their own celebration tomorrow - that of the Russian Orthodox Christmas.

January 7 is Christmas in Russia because of differences between the Gregorian and Julian calendars.

6 Jan 2013 - 4:06am

So near, yet so feared: jingle fever

Hotel receptionists - always willing to get in the spirit at the drop of a hat. Photo: Cecilie Gamst Berg

"Yes, here in Guiyang we know how to celebrate Christmas," the taxi driver says proudly, as we sit stuck in traffic, or, rather, among screaming crowds of Guizhou teenagers carousing on Christmas Eve. "It's not like you foreigners. Or anywhere else in China."

He isn't kidding.

5 Jan 2013 - 10:55pm

Rothschild staff give time and talent for charity

Employees from Rothschild, a major OSC donor, doing a Gangnam Style dance at their company's annual Christmas party. Photo: SCMP

Home-baked cakes, home-cooked BBQ dinners, wine appreciation classes and a game of golf with the chairman - Rothschild's staff generously put their talents up for sharing at the financial advisory group's Christmas party and auction this month.

31 Dec 2012 - 5:35am 1 comment

Coutts staff get packing for charity

Coutts staff put the gift boxes together in their lunch breaks.

What goes best with a business suit and a briefcase at this time of year? A toy for a child that may never have received a Christmas present before.

30 Dec 2012 - 7:22am

Debate on mid-winter break for English Premier League soccer

Paul Lambert

As regular as a yuletide hark, calls for an English Premier League mid-winter break are once more echoing around the tinsel-festooned stadiums.

29 Dec 2012 - 3:35am

The great faiths continue to provide a moral compass in cynical times

Christians pray during a Christmas mass. Photo: Xinhua

Christmas has come and Christmas has gone, but did anybody notice? That may be a silly thing to claim. We could not fail to notice the endlessly tinkling muzak playing in shopping malls worldwide, jabbering about angels singing on high, mummy kissing Santa Claus, and flying reindeer and other unlikely UFOs.

29 Dec 2012 - 1:45am

Fewer new flats sold over Christmas holidays this year

Prospective buyers examine a model of Yuen Long's The Reach on display at its sales office at Miramar Shopping Centre. Photo: Nora Tam

Hong Kong's property market is not benefiting from the Christmas spirit, with just a few new homes sold over the holiday period as the latest round of cooling measures bite.

27 Dec 2012 - 1:59am

Obama cuts Hawaii holiday short over fiscal cliff

Obama waves goodbye to his holiday, as he prepares to face reality in Washington. Photo: AP

US President Barack Obama has cut his Christmas vacation short to return to Washington to make a last-ditch push for a compromise on a tax and spending dispute with Congress that remains stubbornly unresolved.

Without action by Obama and Congress, automatic budget cuts and tax increases are set to begin in January, which many economists say could send the country back into recession.

27 Dec 2012 - 8:59am

A season for goodwill and gratitude

Christmas is a time for celebration and gratitude. Photo: Felix Wong

Christmas is a time for celebration, whether spiritual or cultural. It is also a time for reflection and, as usual for most of us in Hong Kong, gratitude. A look back at recent Christmas eves is testament to that. Four years ago, trepidation clouded this day as the world economy teetered on the precipice of the global financial crisis.

24 Dec 2012 - 3:58am

Coldest Christmas Eve in 12 years to bring hardship to Hongkongers in poverty

An elderly man sleeping rough prepares for Christmas under the West Kowloon Corridor in Yau Ma Tei. Photo: Nora Tam

Hong Kong is facing its coldest Christmas Eve for 12 years, raising the prospect of a bleak festive period for the city's estimated 1.2 million people living in poverty.

The Observatory warned the minimum temperature could fall to as low as 10 degrees Celsius in urban areas - the coldest since 10.6 degrees in 2000.

24 Dec 2012 - 8:17am 1 comment

'Heritage Fiesta' offers history lesson on Hong Kong

Instead of spending hours in shopping malls this Christmas, Hongkongers are being urged to explore the city's heritage. Photo: Jonathan Wong

If you've had enough of trailing around shopping malls this Christmas, perhaps it might be time for a history lesson.

Eleven heritage sites across the city have opened their doors to the public as part of "Heritage Fiesta 2012".

24 Dec 2012 - 4:58am

Christmas with Hong Kong movers and shakers

Olivier Elzer

Whether it's decorating the tree together or helping the young ones write a wish list for Santa, we all have our Christmas rituals. CitySeen asks some of the city's movers and shakers about their favourite festive activities


Olivier Elzer, executive chef of L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon

24 Dec 2012 - 4:55am

Here's wishing you a wicked Christmas

Wildlife market in China. Photo: Reuters

Do people still do Christmas cards, or is it just me? The festive imagery in the most unusual of the few that I have seen this year is truly strange, depicting the temptation of St Anthony the Great. What this has to do with Christmas was not immediately apparent.

24 Dec 2012 - 3:58am

'Cliff' still looms as lawmakers go on holiday

President Barack Obama and his family arriving for the holidays at Hickham Feild in Honolulu, Hawaii yesterday. Photo: AFP

Democratic and Republican lawmakers mulled their next move yesterday as they left Washington for the Christmas holidays after US President Barack Obama urged them to pass a scaled-down tax package to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.

23 Dec 2012 - 6:57am