Hong Kong protests: Independent Chinese New Year fair planned after government bans sale of dry goods at annual Victoria Park ‘flower market’


Crowdfunded event organised by supporters of the anti-government movement is slated for late January

Nicola Chan |

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Organisers said students could rent a stall at the fair at a discounted price.

As of 11am yesterday, around 120 secondary school students had shown interest in renting stalls at an independent Lunar New Year (LNY) fair, Young Post has learned. The event, crowdfunded by Hongkongers, supports the anti-government movement. 

The “Burn with You” Fair is a first of its kind. It offers local residents – including secondary students – a chance to run their own businesses during the new year while reaffirming their political stance publicly. 

“The majority of the student applicants are bidding for dry good stalls. Most of them are planning to sell creative merchandise, including print products, stationery and stuffed toys,” event founder Steve, who asked for his full name to be withheld, told Young Post.

On November 7, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department announced that no dry goods stalls would be allowed at the city’s 15 LNY fairs in light of the ongoing social arrest. This is to “ensure public safety” during the holiday period from January 19 to 25, the government said. 

Government bans dry goods from Chinese New Year fair; only food and flower stalls will be allowed

A 16-year-old, who ran a stall at the festive fair at Victoria Park last year, said she supports independent Lunar New Year fairs. “It is unfair for the government to ban dry goods stalls, which are an important part of the traditional Lunar New Year fair,” said the student, who prefers to remain anonymous. 

But she is also concerned that students taking part in politicised fairs might face opposition, or even danger, given the social turmoil in Hong Kong. 

The organisers said they hope to set up a maximum of 250 stalls for the sale of dry goods, wet goods, and fast food. They said the bid price would be in the range of HK$5,000 to HK$7,000. Stalls run by students or used for charity sales would be sold for half-price or given free, Steve said. The fair is due to be held from January 17-24, and the organisers are considering venues in Causeway Bay, Central, Tsim Sha Tsui, Lai Chi Kok or Kwun Tong. 

Organisers said a total of 700 applications have been received so far, with potential goods including creative snacks, handicrafts, flowers, and imported and franchised goods.