Thursday, 15 February 2018

Ushering the Year of the Dog

In the late afternoon there were thousands of people in Victoria Park
Happy New Year of the Dog!

I just got back from Victoria Park where the largest flower market is, and it was pretty full of people. Lots of them were clutching large cushions shaped like dogs, or eating long bamboo skewers with strawberries covered in sugar. On the news we saw people selling cushions shaped like egg custards but we didn't see them. Too bad!

Pots of gorgeous orchids for sale
Students at the market hone their selling skills, as many schools rent booths and try to sell merchandise. Most of the time they break even selling plush toys or snarky items like canvas bags with a caricature of tycoon Li Ka-shing and it says, "Are you a man or are you a dog" with a picture of a canine.


Another canvas bag said "Error 404. Site not found". Sound familiar?

The snacks were pretty popular too. We saw one woman rolling globs of glutinous rice flour paste into an orangey nutty mixture and then cutting them up for people to eat. That was delicious, around HK$25, and dragon beard candy was only about HK$15.

Even HK$25 succulents could be snapped up
For many people eating these snacks are nostalgic -- you can't find them often around shops or street corners anymore, so now's the time to indulge. We also go a kind of wafer with desiccated coconut and sugar wrapped in a thin crepe that was HK$8 for two.

We also saw Occupy leaders Benny Tai Yiu-ting and Chu Yiu-ming waving to people and smiling. They were soliciting donations and in return people could get fai chun or Chinese couplets with good wishes for the new year.

A friend remarked the pan-democrats trying to solicit donations weren't getting much love from the public this year, perhaps focusing instead on the holiday than political activism. With the Hong Kong government legally cracking down on civil disobedience, it tempers people's appetite to protest.

Nevertheless, visiting Victoria Park was not too stressful -- everyone was in a good mood and patiently making their way through the lanes.

Many picking up flowers for the start of the new year
新年快乐!恭喜发财!身体健康! 万想如意!

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