Lunar New Year Fair

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Crowd in Chinese New Year Fair at Victoria Park, Hong Kong

Lunar New Year Fair (年宵市場, or flowermarket 花市) is a type of fair held annually a few days before Lunar New Year in markets, China, and spread with Cantonese immigration.

History[edit]

The Lunar New Year Fair history can be traced back to the Wanli Emperor age of the Ming Dynasty, by the time, the southern land from the Pearl River's Flower Peacents (For Chinese,this term is more closed to western peacent than farmer in reality) started selling flowers as a market. The ancient flower market was held everyday, but without a current location.

In the 1860s, the flowermarket turned to the modern mode which is held during the Lunar New Year's Eve. In 1919, the Lunar New Year Fair got into its biggest time. From the year 1949, when the People's Republic of China was founded, lots of Cantonese immigrated to Hong Kong from Guangzhou and other Pearl River Delta Areas, and then the overseas.

Lunar New Year Fair in Different Cities[edit]

Hong Kong[edit]

In Hong Kong, the fair is held in various location in Hong Kong, notably Victoria Park and Fa Hui Park. Fair gathers hundreds of stalls for various goods. Half of the area is for selling auspicious flowering plants like narcissus, peony, chrysanthemum, peach and fruit plants like mandarin. Another half is for selling dry things for Chinese New Year.

The fair draws lots of people to visit. It is part of custom, hang nin siu (行年宵, literally: walk the year night) or hang fa shi (行花市, literally: walk the flower market). The crowd peaks at a few hours before and after midnight of the New Year's Day. The stall tenders would try to sell all their stocks in these few hours before the fair closes. Flower stall tenders would not take the flowers back when the fair closes but destroy it or leave it to charity organisations.

In the 2000s increasingly youths from various youth organisations, secondary schools and universities operate stalls their own.

In 2007, students from various schools set up stalls to sell many special products which are related to pig, for example Pig Tissue Holder, Fatty Pork Chop Scarf, etc.

In tradition, the Governor of Hong Kong visited the fair annually, usually in Victoria Park. The Chief Executive of Hong Kong continues this tradition.

Location[edit]

At the time of 2006, it was held in:

  • Victoria Park, Causeway Bay
  • Fa Hui Park, Sham Shui Po
  • Cheung Sha Wan Playground, Sham Shui Po
  • Kai Tak East Playground, Wong Tai Sin
  • Kwun Tong Recreation Ground, Kwun Tong
  • Sha Tsui Road Playground, Tsuen Wan
  • Kwai Chung Sports Ground, Kwai Tsing
  • Shek Pai Tau Playground, Tuen Mun
  • Pedestrian Mall Opposite Yuen Long Public Swimming Pool and On Hing Playground, Yuen Long
  • Shek Wu Hui Playground, North District
  • Tin Hau Temple Fung Shui Square, Tai Po
  • Yuen Wo Playground, Sha Tin
  • Man Yee Playground, Sai Kung
  • Po Hong Park, Tseung Kwan O

At the time of 2007, it was held in:[1]

  • Victoria Park on Hong Kong Island
  • Fa Hui Park, Cheung Sha Wan Playground, Morse Park and Kwun Tong Recreation Ground in Kowloon
  • Sha Tsui Road Playground in Tsuen Wan
  • Kwai Chung Sports Ground
  • the open space at the Tin Hau Temple in Tuen Mun
  • Tung Tau Industrial Area Playground in Yuen Long
  • Shek Wu Hui Playground in North District
  • Tin Hau Temple Fung Shui Square in Tai Po
  • Yuen Wo Playground in Sha Tin
  • Man Yee Playground in Sai Kung
  • Po Hong Park in Tseung Kwan O

Guangzhou[edit]

A Stall in the Yue Xiu New Years Fair in Canton, 2010

Guangzhou is said to be the source of the Lunar New Year Fair, After PRC's ruling, the Lunar New Year Fair was only be interrupted in a few years during the Cultural Revolution, but being countined in the coming years. The Guangzhou's one was held 3 days before the New Year comes till the Lunar New Year's Eve.

Now Guangzhou's one is not only selling New Year Tree, but also some other goods.

The Lunar New Year Fair now has already been the Cantonese New Year custom.

In Guangzhou (Canton), there is at least one fair in each district, which became an accustom since the 1960s. However, the origin of such fair can be traced back to Ming Dynasty. However, the official records of the Lunar New Year Fairs in Canton was found first in the 1920s, during the city was under the rule of the Republic of China.

And the official name for the fair in Canton is flowermarket (花市), however the locals tend to use the term Flower Street (花街), referring to the fact the fairs in Canton are taking part on the street available for vehicles on normal days, which turned to pedestrian zone only during the days of the fair.[2]

References[edit]

External links[edit]