Saturday, March 1, 2014

2014 Hong Kong Well Wishing Festival @ Lam Tsuen

Earlier last month, I went to Lam Tsuen (林村) in Tai Wo (太和) with a friend for the 2014 Hong Kong Well-Wishing Festival (2014 香港許願節).  The weather wasn't superb but it didn't damper our spirits.  Lam Tsuen was a lot easier to get to than I originally anticipated.  All you need to do is to take the train to Tai Wo station exit A then take minibus 25K and it will get you right there at the front gate!  (Tell the driver you are going to Lam Tsuen or follow the crowd if you are going during the festival!)

a checklist of wishes, how convenient!
looks delicious but I was full :(
Tin Hau TempleTin Hau, Goddess of the Sea, is revered by fishermen and anyone whose life and destiny is tied to the sea. Temples that honour her are found in abundance in Chinese coastal communities throughout Asia. Hong Kong is no exception.

Every year during the Chinese New Year Celebration, this is also were they park the floats!

The original well-wishing tree is still around but no throwing is allowed anymore.  Instead, there is a new tree adjacent to the old one which will let you throw till your heart's content.  For some, it seemed hard to hook the fake orange onto the tree but for me, it was easy. (I got mine hooked in my first shot!)  Perhaps I wasn't asking for something that's too much for the gods to grant?

Lam Tsuen Wishing TreesIn the past, whenever there was a festival, villagers would throw joss paper into these two trees and make wishes. The higher the branch the joss paper landed on, the more likely it was the wish would come true. People from all over Hong Kong still come here in their droves to make wishes during festivals; however, as it’s not just local villagers hoping to try their luck in the trees anymore, measures have been introduced to protect the wishing trees from becoming buried in paper. Nowadays, wishes are more tidily made by tying joss paper to nearby wooden racks or imitation trees.

This is what we came all the way for... LOL
throwing fake oranges at a fake (?) tree
poor tree, please hark our prayers!

Either way, I felt like I was missing out on the fun of throwing so I picked up a few more fake oranges that were lying on the ground and got all of them hooked to the tree as well.  So, if your wish came true even you didn't get your orange on the tree, you may have me to thank (?)

In the old days, families can only light a lantern in the ancestral temple when they had a boy.
so racist!

Afterwards, we went to one of my favorite restaurants for dinner  (click here!).  2 more friends showed up unannounced but luckily the restaurant was able to accommodate.  If I enjoyed my dishes last time, I was impressed this time!  Everything was so delicious!!!  Since there were 4 of us total, we were also able to try more dishes too.  Definitely a win-win if you ask me!

Click here for more information on Lam Tsuen!


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