Hong Kong Festive Customs

Hongkong Post issues a set of six special stamps on the theme of Festive Customs to showcase these customs and traditions with their strong local flavours.

**NOTE: Stock is limited to 5 per customer.

Issue information

Despite being a fast-paced, modern city that constantly keeps abreast of the times, Hong Kong attaches great importance to its traditional culture and preserves many unique folk customs. The city celebrates an array of colourful traditional festivals, with many festive customs and traditions deeply rooted in the heart of the community. Hongkong Post issues a set of six special stamps on the theme of “Festive Customs” to showcase these customs and traditions with their strong local flavours.

$2 ── Putting Up Spring Festival Scrolls has been identified as one of the intangible cultural heritages of Hong Kong. It has become a tradition for people to decorate their homes and shops during Chinese New Year with Spring Festival scrolls that are inscribed with auspicious phrases such as “Wishing you safety wherever you go” and “May all things go as you wish” so as to pray for blessings and fortune in the coming year.

$2.60 ── Throwing Wishing Placards is a time-honoured custom which is considered to have originated in Lam Tsuen, Tai Po. People write down their names and wishes on wishing placards and toss them onto the Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees. It is believed that the higher the wishing placard lands on the tree, the greater the chance the wish will come true. In order to conserve the original wishing trees, a replica wishing tree has been set up in the vicinity so that people can continue to make wishes by throwing their wishing placards onto the artificial tree.

$3.40 ── Offering First Incense in Chinese New Year refers to worshippers making their first offerings of joss sticks to the deities immediately upon the arrival of the Lunar New Year. Worshippers not only regard the offering as an act of piety and sincerity, but also a “good omen” for a promising new year.

$3.70 ── Spinning Wheels of Fortune is a popular custom practised on the third day of the Lunar New Year. This day is known as “chi kou”, literally “red mouth”, and it is said that arguments are more susceptible to arise on this day. So, instead of visiting friends and family, people normally prefer to wish for luck by spinning the wheels of fortune in Che Kung temples. By tradition, spinning these wheels of fortune will bring good luck in the coming year.

$4.90 ── Drawing Chinese Fortune Sticks is a common ritual in local Chinese temples. In performing this ritual, people have to kneel in prayer in a designated area of the temple and shake a fortune stick holder until a stick falls out. They can then collect the corresponding oracle in verse from a stall outside the temple or ask the fortune-teller in the temple for an interpretation.

$5 ── Unicorn Dance, a form of traditional folk performing art usually practised during festivals and celebratory occasions, is listed as part of Hong Kong’s intangible cultural heritage. In Chinese legends, the unicorn is considered to be a benevolent and auspicious animal. The unicorn dance is performed by two dancers who move the head and body of the unicorn respectively to the rhythm of the music, and is believed to bestow blessings and ward off evil.

Technical information

Design: CHENG Kar-wai
Printer: Cartor Security Printing, France
Process: Lithography plus hot foil stamping
Stamp size: 28mm x 49mm
Stamp layout: Pane of 25 stamps
Souvenir sheet size: 180mm x 79mm
Perforation: 13.5 x 13.75 (one elliptical perforation on each vertical)
Paper: Paper with security fibres
Date of issue: 27 February 2018