Lam Tsuen Well-Wishing Festival is one of the most iconic celebrations during Chinese New Year in Hong Kong. It is considered the most representative ritual in Hong Kong for making wishes. Throwing placards on the wishing tree has been featured in many movies and local TV plays.
History of Lam Tsuen Well-Wishing Festival
Lam Tsuen has over 700 years history. “Tseun” in Cantonese means “village” and “Lam” is a popular Chinese family name. During the Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279), it was already a residential area.
Celebrations of Lam Tsuen Well-Wishing Festival
Traditional Placard Throwing
People believe the peace and long history of this village is due to the protection from Wishing Trees and Tin Hau Temple. Every year whenever there is a festival, villagers will toss the joss paper (placard) on the wishing tree to make a wish. The higher it hangs, the better chance that wish comes true.
Other ways of making wish have been introduced to prevent the weight of joss paper on wishing trees. People can write down their names and wishes on joss paper. After praying underneath the wishing trees, they can hang the joss paper on the wooden rack next to the wishing tree.
Making Wishes with Lotus Lanterns
You also can put your wish on the lotus flower and let it flow along the water.
Making Wishes with Golden Mandarin
The Cantonese pronunciation of “golden mandarin” is very similar to “good luck”. So during Chinese New Year locals love to tie their wishes together with a golden mandarin and pray for good luck in the coming year.
Take Some Lucky Decoration Home
There are lots of Chinese New Year decorations as well as some traditional snacks on Lam Tsuen Well-Wishing Festival.
You also can check out their official site for more details. Unfortunately, the site is only written in Chinese.
The time around Chinese New Year is full of seasonal traditions and rituals. Locals love to prepare and eat ‘lucky food’ or flock into temples to give thanks for the past 12 months and pray for good fortune for the New Year.
Besides Lam Tsuen Well-Wishing Festival, visitors have great opportunity to experience and engage into different cultural activities. Simply visit e.g. the Che Kung Temple to spin the Fortune Wheel for some good luck, shake out a fortune stick for a New Year Prediction at the Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple or simple burn some incense in one of the many temples in Hong Kong.
More Info and Details
28 January – 12 February 2017
9:00am – 7:00pm
Lam Tsuen Wishing Square, Lam Tsuen, Tai Po
How to get to Lam Tseun ?
By Subway: The most convenient way is to take the MTR to Tai Po station and take KMB bus No. 64K to Fong Ma Po station.
Alternatively, you can take taxi from Tai Po station which will cost only HK$ 25.
In case you are pressed for time and don’t want to travel to far, we highly recommend taking a closer look at the Man Mo Temple on Hong Kong Island or Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple on the Kowloon side to experience some local Chinese New Year customs, rituals and traditions.
Like any event during the Chinese New Year period, be prepared that it will be very crowded. Admission to the temples are free of charge, but we recommend to give a small donation to maintain the beautiful temples and art works.