Hong Kong's Well-Wishing Festival is a long-established tradition and serves as part of the Lunar New Year Celebrations in the city.
Close your eyes and make a wish at this year's Well-Wishing Festival in Hong Kong. Or, make like a local and write it down and try to throw it into a tree. Much more exciting.
New Year in China is full of traditions and rituals to bring luck and good fortune in the next 12 months and give thanks for the past year. Locals and travellers alike come to the Lam Tsuen wishing trees to make their wishes for the new year. There are many traditional aspects to this festival, from well-wishing at the Wishing Trees, to the releasing of Wishing Lanterns and a spectacular parade.
Well-wishers traditionally write their wish on a piece of paper (red or gold are said to promote good luck) with their name and date of birth. This wish is then tied to a string with an orange to counter-balance the other side. The wishes are then tossed over the Wishing Tree, with the aim of catching in the tree to wait for the wish to come true. It is said that the higher the wish hangs, the better chance there is of it coming true, and that if it doesn't hang at all then the wish is too greedy. This tradition has over 700 years of history at Lam Tsuen, and it is believed that this long history is due to the protection of the trees and the Tin Hau Temple.
The Lam Tsuen canal is also said to grant wishes, so wishing lanterns are released into the water. These are simply lit rather than having wishes attached to them, and the lanterns are released all throughout the festivities.
The Well-Wishing Carnival is another aspect to the festival, and features food stalls, game booths and cultural performances for those looking for some fun alongside the celebrations. All the floats on display will have made their debut at the Chinese New Year Parade, and there will also be performances from groups who also participated in the parade.
Whilst the Wishing Trees are a bit further out than your average event in Hong Kong, if you're looking to experience some culture and tradition, a trip out there might just be worth it if it. And who knows, it might make all of your dreams come true.
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