Monday, 23 January 2012

Kung Hei Fat Choy !

Kung Hei Fat Choy 恭喜發財, Sun Nien Fai Lok 新年快樂 - Good wishes and Prosperity, Happy New Year. Today is Chinese New year. Today we don't use knives, we live on fruits, candies and nuts. Boxes of clementines with leaves on, red melon seeds, dumplings filled with sugar and black sesame, and eat a soft cake made of glutinous rice called Nien Go. Nowadays these come in all shapes and flavours, the most striking in the shape of two carps, coloured with food colouring red, yellow and white.

Traditionally, fireworks, to scare away the bad vibes of the past. Once, the streets were covered knee high in spent firecracker paper. It's neither safe nor practical so cities mount massive fireworks displays after the main festival day, which is spent with family. The clip above is last year in Hong Kong, bigger and fancier than western new year. 31888 pieces. This display is in 8 parts, each with a different theme and music. One is "I (heart) HK" sung in Mandarin which is significant because that's not the local dialect but national. Another is Placido Domingo, idolized in China. The finale (22.30) is so spectacular that the whole skyline is blitzed out in light and colour, to the 1812 Overture.

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