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Stalls have mixed feelings about Lam Tsuen's "Wishing Tree"

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Stalls have mixed feelings about Lam Tsuen's "Wishing Tree"

source: takungpao

translated by cici@AsianEU

 

Wishing Tree imitation attracts large numbers of people to "try their luck"

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Absent for several years, throwing joss paper tradition appears once again in Lam Tsuen, Tai Po during the festive period, attracting many people to come. The Township of Lam Tsuen launches an imitation Wishing Tree, and although it attracts a large number of people to come, yet, not all stall owners can take the opportunity to profit from this tradition. Some merchants selling traditional snacks say business turnover rise 80 percent from last year; but merchants selling incense, joss sticks and joss paper say imitation Wishing Tree thin out business leading business to plummet more than 50 percent.

 

To attract visitors, the introduction of Wishing Tree in Lam Tsuen by Township results in popularity attracting a large number of people to visit in consecutive days. Miss Yau, selling traditional snacks says laughing, "It has been a "good help" to business since the introduction of the wishing tree, leading to a sharp rise in the volume of business of 80 percent than last year". For example, she says, although the price of home-made Nuomici is three for ten dollars, a slightly more expensive price than last year's ten-dollar for four, but still no customer says price is expensive, to which she sells 600 to 700 each day. Mr. Tsui, operating an organic farm, says business is idealistic, to which all organic vegetables and fruits are sold out. For example, a box of strawberries for 38 dollars, its production is twice than last year, but sales are still very good selling one hundred to two hundred boxes daily.

 

However, some merchants are happy, some not, Mr. Po selling joss sticks and joss paper says the imitation Wishing Tree thins out business. He explains that the flow of customers is higher for 30 percent than last year, but it is not very useful to enhance the volume of business. "The first thing people come here to do is to throw joss paper to the plastic wishing tree", but when customers find out joss paper he sells is not "throwable" then they don't buy. In order to attract customers, the joss paper he sells is at 5 dollars maintaining last year's level, while the windmills will be five dollars less.

 

Miss Ho taking her family with her says frankly that she especially comes for the imitation Wishing Tree. She says the traditional joss paper is very important, she has to throw it during festive period. Asked whether she will buy a real joss paper after throwing an imitated joss paper, she responds, "After praying, throwing (imitation Wishing Tree) is enough". Since the broken branches of Wishing Tree, Mrs. Pang has not been to Lam Tsuen. But this year, hearing people can throw joss paper to imitation wishing tree, she especially takes her whole family to Lam Tsuen. Though she says, "More festive when one can throw joss paper", but still, she can't help to be disappointed at the wishing tree's height, saying that "higher would be better, makes it more challenging".

Edited by cici

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