Sunday, April 15, 2018

Hong Kong: Festive Customs [節慶民間習俗] (FDC)

Festive Customs - Official First Day Cover 2018-02-27 [Hongkong Post]

Despite being a fast-paced, modern city that constantly keeps abreast of the times, Hong Kong attaches great importance to its traditional culture and preserves many unique folk customs. The city celebrates an array of colorful traditional festivals, with many festive customs and traditions deeply rooted in the heart of the community. Hongkong Post issues a set of six special stamps on the theme of "Festive Customs" to showcase these customs and traditions with their strong local flavors.

$2  - Putting Up Spring Festival Scrolls 貼揮春
It has been identified as one of the intangible cultural heritages of Hong Kong. It has became a tradition for people to decorate their homes and shops during Chinese New Year with Spring Festival scrolls that are inscribed with auspicious phrases such as "Wishing you safety wherever you go" so as to pray for blessings and fortune in the coming year.

$2.6 - Throwing Wishing Placards 拋寶碟
It is a time-honored custom which is considered to have originated in Lam Tsuen, Tai Po. People write down their name and wishes on wising placards and toss them onto the Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees. It is believed that the higher the wishing placards land on the tree, the greater the chance the wish will come true.

$3.4 - Offering First Incense in Chinese New Year 上頭炷香
It refers to worshippers making their first offerings of joss sticks to the deities immediately upon the arrival of the Lunar New Year.

$3.7 - Spinning Wheels of Fortune 轉風車
It is a popular custom practiced on the third day of the Lunar New Year. This day is known as "chi kou", literally "red mouth", and it is said that arguments are more susceptible to arise on the day. So instead of visiting friends and family, people normally prefer to wish for luck by spinning the wheels of fortune in Che King temples. By tradition, spinning these wheels of fortune will bring good luck in the coming year.

$4.9 - Drawing Chinese Fortune Sticks 求籤
It is a common ritual in local Chinese temples. In performing this ritual, people have to kneel in prater in a designated area of the temple and shake a fortune stick holder until a stick falls out. they can then collect the corresponding oracle in verse from a stall outside the temple or ask the fortune-teller in the temple for an interpretation.

$5 - Unicorn Dance 舞麒麟
It is a form of traditional folk performing art usually practiced during festivals and celebratory occasions. It is listed as part of Hong Kong's intangible cultural heritage. The unicorn dance is performed by two dancers who move the head and body of the unicorn respectively to the rhythm of the music, and is believed to bestow blessings and ward off evil.

Source: Back of FDC
----- :: WalaGemini 2018/04/15 :: -------------------------------------------------------------------------

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