Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wax burning

Wax burning , also known as wax boiling, is the heating of candle wax to high temperatures in a container as a form of entertainment.

Most of the time, it refers to a local tradition of Hong Kong youths during the Mid-Autumn Festival period in public parks or other such areas. One would use an empty moon cake tin as the container to bring candle wax to the boil, possibly adding newspaper scraps or other flammable fuel. When the wax fire reaches its peak, one would pour water onto the flames thus creating spectacular sizzling and steam. This practice is dangerous due to the flames' kickback and volatile amount of flowing hot wax, possibly causing third degree burns; several children have been taken to hospital each year due to "wax burning" related injuries. The annual numbers are in decline due to legislation and public education campaigns .

Attitude of the Hong Kong government to wax burning

As there are many revellers during the Mid-Autumn Festival, the Hong Kong police force has previously paid little attention to wax boiling, and hence many local youths see the festival as a chance for "legal fire-setting". However, due to the amounts of leftover melted wax in public areas and the inherent danger of the practice, in 1990 the government began issuing public announcements to citizens not to boil wax. The police and Leisure and Cultural Services Department began patrolling public parks and areas during the three-day festival period, requesting citizens not to light too many candles at once and to prevent wax burning.

Offenders burning wax in public parks, beaches or BBQ areas face a maximum penalty of HK$2,000 and 14 days imprisonment. The Housing Department also prohibits the practice, claiming that five points deduction and a $1,500 fixed penalty notice will be imposed on offenders in its public housing estates. Leaving behind wax stains in public places will also fall under "littering" and is liable to a HK$1,500 fine. The government suggests


Villain hitting

Villain hitting, Da Xiaoren or demon exorcising is a folk popular in the Guangdong area of China including Hong Kong. Its purpose is to curse one's enemies using magic. Villain hitting is often considered a humble career, and the ceremony is often performed by older ladies.


The concept of "villain" is divided into two types: specific villain and general villain.

Specific Villain

Specific villains are individuals cursed by the villain hitter due to the hatred of their enemies who employ the hitter. A villain could be a famous person hated by the public such as a politician or could be personally known to their enemy, such as when the request is to curse a love rival.

General Villain

Villain hitters may help their clients curse a general villain: a group of people potentially harmful to the clients.

Dualism is mainstream in the traditional world view, and many different kinds of folk sorcery beliefs derive from this view. The concept of Villain and Gui Ren comes as a result of this yin and yang world view.


The period for villain hitting is different among temples, but Jingzhe is the most popular date. According to some folklore, Jingzhe is the date when the whole of creation is awakened by thunder. As a result, different kinds of foul spirits including byakko and villains become active. Consequently, villain hitting on this day serves to prevent those harmful to others.


Villain hitting is often done in gloomy places such as somewhere under an overpass. In Hong Kong, the Canal Road Flyover between Causeway Bay and Wan Chai is a popular place for villain hitting. There are many villain hitters here especially on Jingzhe.


Receiving orders from clients, villain hitters require human-shaped papers with or without some information of specific people. As part of the ceremony, they beat the papers with shoes or other implements. The whole ceremony of villain hitting is divided into 8 parts:

# Sacrifice to divinities :Worship deities by Incense and Candle.
# Report :Write down the name and the date of birth of the client on the Fulu . If the client request to hit a specific villain, then write down or put the name, date of birth, photo or clothings of the specific villain on the villain paper.
# Villain hitting :Make use of a varieties of symbolic object such as the shoe of clients or the villain hitter or other religious symbolic weapon like incense sticks to hit or hurt the villain paper. Villain paper can also replaced by other derivative such as man paper, woman paper, five ghost paper etc.
# Sacrifice to :The hitter have to make sacrifice to Bái Hǔ if they want to hit villain on Jingzhe. Use a yellow paper tiger to represent Bái Hǔ, there are black stripes on the paper tiger and a pair of shape tooth in its mouth. During the sacrifice a small piece of pork is soaked by blood of pig and then put inside the mouth of the paper tiger . Bái Hǔ won't hurt others after being full. Sometimes they will also smear a greasy pork on Bái Hǔ's mouth to make its mouth full of oil and unable to open its mouth to hurt people. In some regional sacrifice the villain would burn the paper tiger of cut off its head after making sacrifice to it.
# Reconciliation
# Pray for blessings :Use a red Gui Ren paper to bray for blessings and help from Gui Ren.
# Treasure Burning :Burn the paper-made-treasure to worship the spirits。
# Zhi Jiao :Zhi Jiao, to cast two crescent-shaped wooden piece to under go the Zhi Jiao ceremony.

Sport in Hong Kong

Sports in Hong Kong, as in other countries, are important part of the culture. Hong Kong, however, have a limited amount of resources. A balanced mix of eastern and western culture sports do exist in the territory.


is located today where the original location of ''"Victoria Recreation Club"'' stood in 1849 after having been in operation in since 1832. It is the first sporting club established in Hong Kong's history. The first sports involved were water sports such as .

The primary sport in Hong Kong has been football due mainly to British influence going as far back as the late 19th century. The first documented team came from the "Chinese Football Team" of 1904, which began as a club called the "South China Athletic Club" founded by Mok Hing The Hong Kong Government is also known for its proactive approach towards sporting events prior to the upcoming Beijing Olympics.


Hong Kong First Division Football League

In recent years, Hong Kong Football Association has been having trouble keeping ten professional teams in the Hong Kong First Division League. But for the 2008-09 season, 13 teams will compete.

Most of the Hong Kong First Division League matches are played at Mongkok Stadium and Hong Kong Stadium. In 2008-09 season, Tai Po Sports Ground and Shenzhen Stadium will also be used.

Hong Kong Marathon

The Hong Kong Marathon takes place every February and draws as many as 30,000 participants.

International sporting events

Asian Games

Hong Kong has been participating in the Asian Games since the . The most recent participation was the 2006 Asian Games.

Commonwealth Games

Hong Kong competed at the Commonwealth Games from 1934 until 1994 as a British colony . Over the years Team Hong Kong picked up a number of medals, including in Lawn Bowls.

Summer Olympics

Hong Kong has participated in all Summer Olympic Games since the in Helsinki, Finland. The first medal was won in the in Atlanta, US. Lee Lai Shan won gold in the women's mistral individual event in . Coincidentally, it was also the last medal won by Hong Kong as a British territory.

The territory participated under the new name and its new regional flag for the first time in the in Sydney, Australia. Hong Kong won its second ever Olympic medal in the in Athens, Greece where Hong Kong won silver in men's doubles event in table tennis.

The events of the 2008 Summer Olympics will be held in Hong Kong. This will mark the second time the same edition of the Olympic Games to be hosted by two National Olympic Committees, namely by that of the People's Republic of China and Hong Kong. It has been announced that the Hong Kong Sports Institute at Fo Tan, Sha Tin will be the site of the events.

Winter Olympics

Hong Kong participated its first Winter Olympic Games in the in Salt Lake City, USA. No medal were won at those games.

Hong Kong Sevens

The Hong Kong Sevens were established in 1976 and since held in March every year except for 1997 and 2005. As part of the IRB Sevens World Series in rugby union, the two-and-a-half-day event is a tournamnent participated by as many as 22 countries.


Sifu is a term for a master. The character 師 means “teacher”. The meaning of 傅 is “tutor” and of 父 “father”, both characters are read fu with the same tones in Cantonese and , creating some ambiguity. A similar term often used in the north is 老師 ''lǎo shī'' , "elder teacher".

Contextually, ''sifu'' is used in a familial manner as a child addressing a parent by the description "father", rather than a self referenced title seen in modern slang usage. It is also commonly used in a martial arts context to denote an instructional relationship.

Common usage

In mainland China, sifu is a common respectful form to address most professionals where knowledge or skill is exchanged, such as s, , monks, house decorators, and many elders of old trades and arts, with a large amount of experience, such as paintings and calligraphy. It is commonly used to refer to traditional professions where apprenticeship is possible, as this word is the reciprocal of "apprentice" .

It is rarely used and may even be disrespectful when used to refer to people of modern professions such as doctors and lawyers. In addition, it is rarely used to refer to teachers and professors in academic settings.

In modern slang, people use the word so as to, superficially, build up a better guanxi with others, in particular those with whom they are not familiar, not dissimilar from the western terms "boss" and "guv'nor".

Martial arts usage of sifu

Traditionally, in Chinese martial arts, the term was used as a familial term and sign of respect as in the general usage.

The term takes on a more intimate context when a student becomes a formal student or disciple of the teacher. The acceptance as a student is a very formal event, usually requiring a discipleship ceremony called ''bai shi''. After the ceremony, the relationship is defined as a more direct parent/child context and usage takes on this term rather than a generic sign of respect for skill and knowledge.

Shopping in Hong Kong

Shopping in Hong Kong have been categorized from ''"social activity"'' to a ''"serious sport"''. It is an important part of the culture and a way of life. Few cities in the world can rival the experience from an economic, business or social standpoint.


Hong Kong's culture is very much dominated by consumerism. In the early Colonial Hong Kong period, the territory served as a middleman that sold far more than it consumed. Goods were largely sold via mobile hawker units or independent shops, with the majority of trade, utilities, shipping and manufacturing handled by the Hongs. The establishment of banks and deposit institutions allowed people to accumulate savings, and expand their personal finance.

With significant manufacturing outputs, the economy turned around in the , setting the mall trends in motion. One of the first recognized modern shopping centre was . Daimaru opened the flood gate of Japanese goods to Hong Kong in 1966.

In the late 1970s, one of the first modern shopping development was in above the MTR station. Only specific import goods like alcohol, tobacco, perfumes, cosmetics, cars and petroleum products have taxes associated. For companies, there is a 17.5% corporate tax, which is lower than international standards.

Its proximity to manufacturing plants in China as well as being a free port provide the territory with significant advantages. Large quantities of goods could be manufactured and transported in short periods of time. Imports from Europe, Japan, US and Taiwan also add international flavor to the mix.


Convenience is a given, when most stores are tightly lined up next to one another in proximity. Tsim Sha Tsui alone offer more than 600 stores. Similar statistics can be drawn from and numerous other areas. With its balance of international stores, shopping in Hong Kong could essentially mimic shopping around the world. Though shopping selections are based on a wide scope, ranging from the most ancient to the most hi-tech goods.

Businesses are not always catered to high-end wealthy customers, as plenty of bargains attract regular shoppers. Transportation also eases the shopping experience as MTR subway and s allow anyone to get around with no preceding geographical knowledge or drivers license.

Other benefits include a mild winter climate during the two most critical shopping seasons in Christmas and Chinese New Year .


Hong Kong is unique in the sense that the population is fully engaged in two very different languages. Having derived from the Sino-Tibetan family and from the , the territory is capable of communicating with eastern or western shoppers. Merchants will find it handy to open branches in a bilingual territory. While one may argue the proficiency of English in some areas, Hong Kong, Macau and India are the only region on the with a 50% stake in two very different language families. The law also guarantees both Cantonese and English remain official, so bilingual sales tags and sales people are common, especially in the areas frequented by tourists.

Cultural openness is also an important factor, as Hong Kong is receptive toward selling merchandise regardless of the origin. Government believes in a hands-off policy, and do not censor, restrict or modify. An example is authentic looking .

Hong Kong is trendy and moves at a hectically fast pace. One can go shopping at a particular place, only to return a few days later to find the store completely rearranged. To survive stores must stay current, not only in merchandise but presentation.


In the mix of competition, Hong Kong has a reputation for selling counterfeits and fakes. The mishap of paying for items that turns out to be illegitimate is an ongoing problem. Items from bootleg CDs, clothing brands, watches to software have all been forged. The Hong Kong Tourism Board have introduced a plan to identify shops that offer a reliable service via a 300 page book called "A Guide to Quality Shops and Restaurants". Divisions like have also taken part in the anti-corruption process. On the contrary, bargain hunting has been a controversial issue since local consumers often seek to buy imitation brand-named goods at well below market price value.

However, in recent years, this problem has shifted to mainland China, where IP laws are not enforced as strongly and prices of these counterfeit products are even lower.

Warranties and return policies vary widely depending on stores. A majority will not allow refund or exchanges if the items have been tampered with.

Pang uk

Pang uk is a kind of stilt house found in Tai O, Lantau Island, Hong Kong. ''Pang uk'' are built on water or on small beaches.

A fire broke out in 2000 destroying some of the houses in Tai O, and some were later rebuilt.

They were once found in many other fishing towns and villages in rural Hong Kong, but only those in Tai O are preserved in a large scale, with some in the Lei Yue Mun Village and Ma San Tsuen in Lei Yue Mun. According to historians, ''pang uk'' were evolved from boat houses of or fishing people, after moving to reside on land.


Literature of Hong Kong

Literature of Hong Kong is writing about or from Hong Kong or by writers from Hong Kong. It is usually either in Chinese or English.


*List of Hong Kong poets

Translating from .