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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Hong Kong Series at CantoneseClass101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind holidays and observances in Hong Kong. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 2 - New Year's Eve.
In this lesson, we will talk about New Year's Eve, or 除夕 in Cantonese.
Now, before we get into more detail, I've got a question for you-
What is the most popular way to send New Year’s messages after the New Year’s Eve countdown in modern-day Hong Kong?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep listening!
Every 31st of December, countdown celebrations are held throughout Hong Kong. Many countdown events are held in shopping centers, but the government's Leisure and Cultural Services Department also organizes the countdown carnival, which is 嘉年華 in Cantonese. Usually, families spend the New Years’ events and celebrations together in Hong Kong. A lot of people also host private parties at restaurants and clubhouses on New Year’s Eve.
Among the many countdown celebrations held in Hong Kong, the most popular is fireworks on Victoria Harbour. Fireworks are called 煙花 in Cantonese. This event attracts a lot of people to the shores.
In Hong Kong, there are three major outdoor New Year countdown events. “Countdown” in Cantonese is 倒數. The first is the Apple Countdown, which is held at Times Square in Causeway Bay. The concept of this countdown was inspired by the New Year countdown held in Times Square in New York. The second takes place on Canton Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, where famous celebrities perform and count down the coming of the New Year along with the public. The third is at Lan Kwai Fong in Central. During New Year’s, every bar, restaurant and nightclub in these areas is packed, and the streets are filled with people. The roads around those areas are blocked for the day and become “pedestrian zones”, or 行人專用區 in Cantonese.
Crowded events such as these often lead to outbreaks of disorderly behavior, so fights and accidents during the countdown events are reported almost every year. The most serious accident reported was the Lan Kwai Fong tragedy of 1993. In this accident, 21 people died and 63 people were injured due to a stampede that resulted from overcrowded streets. It is recorded as the worst stampede in Hong Kong’s history.
Ever since then, the Hong Kong Police Force, or 香港警務處, have implemented crowd control in all crowded areas to prevent joyous events from turning into tragic disasters.
On New Year's Eve, most public transportation, or 公共交通工具, offer overnight services, called 通宵服務 in Cantonese. These services allow participants in New Year’s events to return home safely after the celebrations.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
What is the most popular way to send New Year’s messages after the New Year’s Eve countdown in modern-day Hong Kong?
In Hong Kong, most people call or send instant messages to their friends and relatives. Because there is such a heavy demand on phone network services at this time, it‘s no surprise when calls or text messages don't go through.
How was this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
How do people celebrate New Year’s Eve in your country?
Leave us a comment at CantoneseClass101.com
We'll see you next time!

2 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍
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CantoneseClass101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
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How do people celebrate New Year’s Eve in your country?

Steven Cung
Friday at 10:11 am
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They celebrate by being nice 他們慶祝邊真的很好