lost fragments: chinese new year 2

[february 2011]

Lantern Festival

The fifteenth day of the new year is the lantern festival, but Tsim Sha Tsui was filled with them early on. Wandering at night through a garden of ballooning shapes–lights through a sheen of fabric–can be a bit magical. Halfway through I stopped to watch a lion dance, then sat by a fountain around the cultural centre listening to the orchestra of Chinese instruments. All year I’ve been revisiting spaces I used to pass through as a child, but at some point it stops feeling like a memory and takes on its own sounds and textures (I’m still not sure how to feel about that).

Wishing Tree

In Lam Tsuen, there is a tree on which you can hang your wishes. This is how you do it: you mark your wish on a slip of pink paper, tie it to a plastic orange, and throw the orange as high as you can, until it catches on a branch. At the entrance to the village is a much older banyan that used to be the wishing tree; it had become too bowed and brittle under the weight of so many wishes that people began to fear for it (or I am mixing up my stories). 

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