Festivals Have Two Sides

Hong Kong is an international metropolis fusing with the culture both from the West and the East. Celebrating both of the Western and Chinese festivals, Hong Kongers enjoy the ecstasy different festivals bring them. Over years of celebration, I believe that some of the festivals have lost their true meanings but some of them have retained their original customs and traditional culture.

As an international financial hub in the world, Hong Kong makes boosting economy a top priority. Money has taken precedence over the true meaning behind some festivals. Halloween can be one of the examples. Every year, numerous investors and merchants aim to make a great profit under the ‘fun’ and ‘joyful’ atmosphere of Halloween. Candy shops, costume shops, pubs, restaurants and even the theme parks in Hong Kong altogether are competing so fiercely in order to make a great sum of money from the people who celebrate Halloween. Why has Halloween become so lucrative and commercial in itself? The problem is people forget the true meaning of Halloween, which is supposed to be religious and fearsome but not a festival for people to joke and play with evil forces. However, adults dressing up like eerie vampires with long sharp teeth or children putting on terrifying masks with a lot of blood have become a common phenomenon in Hong Kong under the delightful and playful ambience of Halloween.

Not only has Halloween lost its true meaning in Hong Kong, Christmas and Easter have also got their true meanings blurred by their attractive and colourful spin-offs. At Christmas, the charmingly glittering displays of Christmas trees and the Santa Claus over the Victoria Harbour are encroaching on the true meaning of Christmas. A lot of people only think about getting Christmas cards and gifts and having a wonderful Christmas feast. After all, who will have free time to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ? When it comes to Easter, many children only think about yummy chocolate eggs and lovely bunnies. Among them, who can really tell you the true meaning of Easter is all about the sacrifice of Jesus Christ who later rose from the death after 3 days? Hong Kong people have forgotten the focus of Christmas and Easter.

Although some of the festivals have lost their true meanings, I truly believe that some Chinese festivals have retained their traditional culture since the ancient times. The Lunar Chinese New Year has long been one of the most crucial festivals in Hong Kong. It plays an important role on linking all the family members together with love and warmth. Take my family as an example: all my family members, relatives and grandparents sit together to enjoy a wonderful feast on the last day of a year every year. I love Chinese New Year as it makes me realize the happiness of having a big family. Family love is priceless. Chinese New Year has been instilling the importance of family gathering into Chinese people over centuries and centuries. And this tradition never changes.

Besides, a lot of Hong Kong people remain firm in practicing different traditional customs during some festivals. At Lunar Chinese New Year, adults give red pockets to the young, and many people still decorate their house with red paper having blessing words on them. At Mid-autumn Festivals, many people still have moon cakes, look at the full moon with their beloved and play lanterns with their friends. Both of the festivals give chances to people to reunite together and share their love, joy and blessing during these festivals. These traditional customs have never changed as well as the true meanings behind these festivals.

In spite of having fun during different festivals including the exotic ones and the traditional ones, Hong Kong people should understand the true meanings of the festivals so as to avoid falling into the traps of losing our unique culture and history passed down by our ancestors. It is the culture itself which makes Hong Kong shine with wisdom.