The Wishing Tree
THE WISHING TREE, TAI WO, Hong Kong, SAR, China – As the Chinese New Year celebration draws to a close, one of the last sights for me to see was the wishing tree. The Wishing Tree, located in Tai Wo off of the East Rail Line on the MTR and a short bus trip, is a destination that most Chinese people travel too. As its name would suggest, the Wishing Tree is a place where people place their wishes and hopes for the new year. This is done by writing your wish on a piece of paper and tying it to an orange. The orange is then tossed in the tree. Once the orange is caught in the tree it is believed that your wish will come true for the new year.
The original wishing tree is over several hundred years old and twist high into the air. However, due to its age, people throw their wishes into a newer tree. The branches of the original tree are supported by wooden poles to strengthen the roots. Once the roots have been strengthened, the tree will be used again.
The celebration at Tai Wo was fairly large. After viewing the wishing tree and watching people attempt to throw their wishes into the tree we saw a large group of people (well over 300) sitting and eating Pun Choi to celebrate the New Year. Their entertainment was a concert of various artists. These artists ranged from classically trained singers to Chinese rappers. It was interesting to listen to this cultures take on rap, but it was no where near the same as American rap.
The final part of the Tai Wo venue was the wishing pond, which consisted of a man made square pond. People placed flowers with floating candles on the pond to again, symbolize their wishes. These flowed around the pond unending.