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By Ash KURMAR (Jockey Club Harmony Hall)

All around us there seem to be Red Packets, Red Streamers, Red Flowers, Red Flags and Red Hearts. That’s right, the beginning of February marks the approach of the Chinese Lunar New Year Festival. This year, however, the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year (14 February 2010) falls on the same day as Valentine’s Day, which boosts the ambience of the Chinese New Year celebrations! We will have double happiness in celebrating the two festivals with festive red colours.

With all these celebrations, I was curious to know how my peers were going to celebrate. Xiaomeng, my room-mate from Mainland China, explained that she was planning to head back home to her province, so she could greet the New Year with her family. After a traditional meal of either chicken or fish with noodles and sweet delicacies, she will indulge in some quality family time before receiving many “Red Packets” and exchanging gifts with friends from her province. I also had the opportunity to talk to a few Hong Kong locals during the delicious Hall 7 Poon Choi dinner. A few of them explained that the ambience and festivities of the Poon Choi dinner were very much like being at home with their families. It was their moment to reconnect and celebrate the traditions they have been observing since they were children.

Most of the international students seem to be travelling to different provinces of China for the New Year, as they want to be able to experience the traditions at first hand. However, some plan to remain in Hong Kong to celebrate Valentine’s Day with their girlfriends and boyfriends.  They look forward to a day of flowers, candy and intimacy and to topping it off with a night in Tsim Sha Tsui to see the fireworks at Victoria Harbour with thousands of others.

Everyone seems to have a reason to celebrate this month. ResLink wishes you a safe and Happy Lunar New Year and looks forward to hearing your stories of how the celebrations go.