Chinese New Year is a very special time for people in Hong Kong. Food is central to the celebratioin. Meals become the focus of family reunions, Special cakes, desserts and snacks are prepared to bring prosperity and good health.
Chinese families leave work for three days to come together and share good times. Shops close and for once the streets become quieter. Some industries close down for a week.
Decorations are put up in every doorway, every shop entrance and Hotel lobby. Red and Gold represent wealth and prosperity, a wish for new year happiness.
Small orange trees covered in fruits are displayed. Red envelopes are used by elders to give money to younger family members. Sometimes the envelopes are pinned onto the trees.
Celebration foods are bought or made at home to enable sharing and passing on good wishes to others. Sesame products reflect the golden hue of wealth and prosperity and are used as coatings for cakes and biscuits.
It is the Lunar new year and therefore a time for clearing out old things and bringing in new. Many people buy new clothes for the Chinese New Year. The shopping malls stay open and are lavishly decorated.
Celebrations usually involve a reunion meal with the family. At lunchtime in particular the Dim Sum restaurants are packed with families.
Each new year is named, this year 2013, is the Year of the Snake.
There is a big carnival parade in the streets at night to celebrate the New Year.
Chinese New Year is also called the Spring Festival and there is much to celebrate. It is a good time to get together with family and friends.