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Hongkongers express hopes for more harmonious city, affordable housing in 2018

Local residents and tourists arrived early at harbourfront and in entertainment area to take in fireworks and party

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 January, 2018, 12:02am
UPDATED : Monday, 01 January, 2018, 4:01am

A more harmonious society and affordable housing were among the wishes Hongkongers identified for 2018 as they ushered in the New Year with celebrations including admiring the city’s traditional fireworks show at Victoria Harbour and enjoying parties in nightlife hotspot Lan Kwai Fong.

In Tsim Sha Tsui, crowds of Hongkongers and tourists arrived early to find the best spot to catch the fireworks spectacle.

For this year’s countdown, the Tourism Board widened the display area for the fireworks by 35 per cent to 1.1km along the harbourfront.

The 10-minute show featured for the first time pyrotechnics from an award-winning European fireworks maker. The pyrotechnics were launched from barges on the harbour as well as from the rooftops of buildings on Hong Kong Island.

Revellers viewing the fireworks heard a soundtrack composed and produced by veteran local music director, Chiu Tsang-hei.

Across the water, those donning brightly-coloured hair accessories and 2018-themed glasses were seen enjoying the countdown to the New Year at the city’s popular entertainment district, Lan Kwai Fong in Central.

Many party-goers there and in Tsim Sha Tsui expressed hopes for a more cohesive Hong Kong as well as world peace.

“What I hope for most is a harmonious [society] in which we are united and work hard together,” a Hongkonger in Tsim Sha Tsui said.

One student in Lan Kwai Fong said he wished for less discord in the city.

Many Hongkongers also voiced a desire for practical improvements in their daily lives, especially in housing.

“I wish for housing prices to not be so high,” a woman in Tsim Sha Tsui said. “How can we afford if it continues to go up?”

Others hoped the new year would bring good health for their family, that the local secondary leaving examination would not be so difficult, and that they would earn more money.