Christmas in Hong Kong


Friday, 25 December, 2009

Content For me, Christmas is preferably a quiet time of year. It's a strange one this year since its the first one I've experienced in the tropics, whilst I read about all the snow that's falling in the UK (and across the northern hemisphere). It doesn't feel the same without the cold. But then, I kid myself. Hong Kong actually does get cold, worsened by the fact that our place has no heating (cue investment in a portable fan heater) and no carpet.

Regarding Christmas almost wholly as a commercial exercise, I cannot think of a better country in recent visits, than Hong Kong as the setting for lots of retail displays, shoppers on a mission, and superficial events to draw in the crowds.

During December, on tentative visits to malls and streets around Kowloon and Hong Kong Island, we noticed the peppering of decoration and installation of trees that reflect the more-is-more ideology that I've come to expect in this country.

Some of these festive displays are truly extensive, employing massive trees and lots of attention to detail. Animals, figures, strange shapes and 3D patterns abound. I wonder about the stylisation employed sometimes and if I had been in the mood, I would have made a point of photographically documenting the evidence.

Throughout the year and in malls all over the city, I've noticed all kinds of displays pop up and disappear with efficiency. I'm not even sure that they make financial sense, although I've a suspicion that they're expected by shoppers as part of the retail therapy experience.

At the best of times, Hong Kong is busy all day, to the extent that I wonder whether anyone works or studies here. However, around Christmas, everywhere seems to have tripled in people density and I make a point of stocking up on food so that we don't need to venture out very much. Oxford Street on a weekend is seriously a walk in the park compared to Hong Kong.

Pondering this point, I became aware that the scenario isn't too different to the UK after all. Although avoiding people is one thing and the cold (and wet) another. Reading up online on all the problems the snow is causing there reminds me of how crippling it can be to London's transport options. I tend to subsconsciously prepare for a few days of seclusion.

Welcome to Christmas.

Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische


Living in Hong Kong.

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