To inform entertain and excite my kids, Jamie, Patrick, Aaron & Sarah Middleburgh, our family and friends.

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the wishing tree downstairs in the lobby, Ap lei chau

Kung Hei Fat Choi

The activity in the supermarkets peaked frenetically on New Year’s Eve as people shopped for the traditional last meal of year when all family gather. It was like the rush at the last minute to buy the Christmas turkey . Chinese New Year decorations had proliferated every, and flowers and cakes to take when visiting were mandatory on every arm.

This year I was invited to a friend's where the daughter in laws had cooked (in the cramped kitchen)

It is said that you cannot have a Hong Kong banquet or party without chicken (think of Christmas without a turkey!!). Traditionally most chickens are imported from the mainland; sold live and killed on demand at the Wet Markets. However this year because of H5N1 virus (bird flu) there have been restrictions on the number of birds imported from china and a requirement that they be vaccinated.

Just before new year the government announced that the import quota was temporarily suspended in order to keep the price down during the holidays. The following day one of the two major supermarket chains pointed out that although the quota had been suspended, there was provision for transport to bring them across the border: so it seem that chicken will be cheap next week !!

There are a number of traditions associated with Chinese new year which are worth mentioning

Having seen some/all family the night before it traditional to revisit them/rest of family the following morning (like boxing day in UK) for example over Yum Cha (lunch time dim sum - eating is culturally very important for the Chinese). Lots of people dressed up "in Sunday best" for occasion.

After lunch people go shopping; visit cinema; art museums or go to watch football (just like UK). This year, with the exception of Renaldo, the Brazilian team were in town to play Hong Kong. To put this in context Brazil ranks number 1 ; Hong Kong ranks Number 154.

Not surprisingly the score was 7:1 to visitors. The locals got frustrated and committed some silly fouls giving a way free kicks and a penalty. However Lee Sze-Ming put away an unexpected but good goal at end of match.

I have to say I don't enthuse over the standard of Hong Kong soccer and follow the fortunes of Schenzhen Jianlibao (who admittedly are not quite Arsenal)

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