Happy New Year of the Fire Rooster

The first day of the Chinese New Year of the Rooster will be on January 28 when you will hear “Gong Xi Fa Cai” or “Gong Hey Fat Choi” well wishes (they both mean wishing you abundance of wealth.)

This year is one for the fire Rooster; the last time this occurred was in 1957. For each zodiac sign, there are five types – gold, wood, water, fire, and earth. Each type has a different personality.

Everything is celebrated in red – you will see children wearing red jackets, adults giving red packets to the younger ones, good tidings written on red paper, etc.

San Francisco and London have apparently the largest celebrations outside Asia.

Let us celebrate the Chinese New Year with some scenes from the flower markets last weekend in The San Francisco Chinatown – lots of red!

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and energetic year of the Rooster!!

First, a beautiful red Rooster from Guangdong, China!

Wishing you abundance every year!


All sorts of Rooster ornaments!


The sound of the mandarin orange in Chinese resembles luck and blessings.

 The most popular surnames in China:

Amazing human flexibility and strength!


Some Kung Fu movements!


And sharing this beautiful rainbow photo shot by a neighbour during our stormy weekend!

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San Francisco Celebrating the Year of the Horse

The Chinese New Year of the noble and galloping horse will start on 31 January. Horses represent hard work, victory, energy, warm-heartedness and intelligence to the Chinese.

The San Franciscan Chinese are celebrating just as much as their friends and families back home.

Can you feel the joyful atmosphere in the Chinatown?

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Can you spot the little boy peeping down to see the celebration?

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Happy New Year of the Horse!

Wishing Trees (Well-Wishing Festival)

Wishing Tree in the Lam Tsuen village in Hong Kong
Wishing Tree in the Lam Tsuen village in Hong Kong – how real the foam tree looks !

Happy New Year of the Snake to all who are celebrating the Spring Festival, the beginning of the Lunar New Year!

To make a wish come true, can you throw an orange onto a tree instead of a coin into a water fountain?

In my home town Hong Kong, there is a colourful cultural tradition called the Well-Wishing festival during Chinese New Year at a famous village called Lam Tsuen in Tai Po in the New Territories in Hong Kong (adjacent to the mainland China).  Lam Tsuen dates back from over 700 years ago during the Southern Song Dynasty.  Local residents and tourists from all over the world will write their wishes on joss paper and throw the paper tied with an orange (a foam one!) to lock them onto the trees.  It is believed the higher the branch you can throw the joss paper onto, the higher the chance the wishes will come true.  Besides the 2 old wishing banyan trees which are set aside for conservation, an imitation wishing tree is there for people to continue with the tradition.  People also set water lanterns afloat to express their wishes for the new year.

Releasing water lantern with wishes during the Well Wishing Festival in Hong Kong
Releasing water lantern with wishes during the Well Wishing Festival in Hong Kong (photo courtesy of Tom from JPG Group)