HONG KONG and the Chinese New Year's Day
Hong Kong is situated on the South East coast of China along an 1.100 Km area and includes about 260 islands. It is the heart of Asia, where 150 years of colonial influence and 5.000 years of Chinese culture blend perfectly. Hong Kong is a town of contrasts where live together ancient temples and modern buildings. The rich limousines cross the markets roads where sacks of dry mushrooms, dry fishes, roots and every kind of typical Chinese food, area stored, and the elegant businessmen mingle with the old men who go for a walk with their canaries.
Hong Kong is completely involved with the Chinese traditions: spiritual beliefs, magic arts and superstitions belong to the day-life. The future prediction is professionally exercised and it is normal to interrogate the fortune-tellers who work in front of Wong Tai Sin Temple. In Hong Kong the spiritual aspect is very important: there are more of 600 Temples dedicated to the 3 main religions: the Buddhism, the Taoism and the Confucianism.
Chinese tradition includes medicine, whose origin dates back over 2.000 years to the Chin Dynasty. The Chinese believe that the sickness are due to an interior lack of balance between Yin and Yang: to adjust it means to resolve the disease. On the contrary, the occidental medicine considers the sickness due to an external agent. In the Chinese traditional medicine shops, ingredients as ginseng, deer horns, snake poison sacs, dry fishes and a lot of grasses and roots, are tidy on display. A prescription can contains up to 20 between ingredients and grasses, which boiled all together produce a curative infusion.
In Hong Kong there are many festivals, the most important in the calendar is the Chinese New Year's Day, which has place between January and February. The celebration includes a wonderful fireworks show on the Victoria Harbour. In New Year's time the visits to the Temples and propitiatory rituals are more frequent and hundreds of persons go to the "wishes tree". It is a huge tree full of yellow coloured slips of paper. According to the Chinese tradition, people have to write in a special sheet of paper the wishes for the New Year. Than have to blind the paper to an orange with a long red thread and throw them in the middle of branches of the tree: if they remain hanging the wish will be accomplished.
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