Tuesday 8 February 2011

Lam Tsuen: the Chinese wishing trees

The Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees is one of the most popular shrines in Hong Kong. The site consists of two banyan trees near the Tin Hau Temple in Fong Ma Po Village, in Lam Tsuen.

During the Lunar New Year, both locals and tourists make wishes there. Traditionally, they wrote their wishes on paper tied to oranges and threw them up to hang in these trees. It was believed that if the paper successfully hung onto one of the branches, their wish would come true.

The picture above shows a re-enactment of this tradition at the Chinese New Year celebrations in London's Chinatown last weekend.

Colourful beanbags with tags explaining the history of the Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees were handed out for people at the festival to try to throw on the tree. The tags were also printed with wishes for such things as wisdom and prosperity.

I had a go, but my beanbag sadly landed on the ground - guess I'll have to find my luck in other ways.


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