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News / City Life

Food and Health Department bans all dry goods stalls at Chinese New Year markets

CNY Market 2018

Ok, we know it's not even Christmas yet (we're barely over Halloween), but we've got some big news – Chinese New Year is CANCELLED. Sort of. With the official public holiday landing on January 25, 2020, Chinese New Year is a major festive celebration in Hong Kong. With it, comes red and gold decorations everywhere, festive songs blasting out of every shop, and of course, the Chinese New Year flower market. Well, not this year.

Just yesterday on November 7, the Food and Health Department announced that auctions to bid for Chinese New Year market stalls will begin next Tuesday (November 12), however, no dry goods stalls will be available for bidding. That means, not cute plush toys, punny pillows, one-off bargains or overpriced festive accessories to wear – you know, basically all the good stuff. 

A spokesman from the FEHD said, "LNY fairs in the past had all along been crowded with people, including elderly people and children. In view of the current social situation, the Government, as the venue management and event organiser, has the responsibility to ensure the safety of the stall owners and visiting members of the public." So, to help keep things "safe", the markets will only allow vendors selling potted plants, flowers and hot food stalls to take part. Because big heavy plants in ceramic pots and scolding hot food is so much safer, right?

Of course, with any news as big as this, netizens were furious and quickly took to social media with all sorts of comments. Some questioned what is the true definition of “dry goods”, many suggested that they should just cancel the whole thing altogether, while most were just sad and confused about the whole situation. Needless to say, Chinese New Year won’t be the same.

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