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February
Carnivals and displays to celebrate Spring Lantern Festival
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The Leisure and Cultural Services Department will present three Lunar New Year Lantern Carnivals in different parts of the territory between February 19 and 23 to celebrate the Spring Lantern Festival. Also, a spectacular lantern display entitled "A Blaze of Blessings" is now on display at Kowloon Park. Admission is free.

The lantern carnivals will be held on February 19 at Cheung Chau Park, on February 22 at Fanling Recreation Ground, and on February 23 at Ko Shan Road Park and Ko Shan Theatre, from 7.30pm to 10.30pm.

Apart from spectacular lanterns and carnival activities, electronic firecrackers will be lit during the opening ceremonies to add festive atmosphere to the three carnivals.

A seven-metre "Lantern of Fortune-bringing Dragons" will be on display at the carnival at Ko Shan Road Park and Ko Shan Theatre. The lantern's design is based on the "Octagon Pavilion" in Chinese traditional architecture. The eight dragons at the corners represent fortune coming from all directions. In the middle section, the rotation of the cylindrical lantern represents endless happiness.

Details of the three lantern carnivals are as follows:
1. New Territories West Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival
February 19 (Saturday), 7.30pm - 10.30pm
Cheung Chau Park
Programmes: Chinese ethnic and traditional dance performances, dragon and lion dance performances, golden oldies, Cantonese opera excerpts and operatic songs, lantern quiz, fortune-telling, nostalgic games and roving entertainment.

2. New Territories East Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival
February 22 (Tuesday), 7.30pm - 10.30pm
Fanling Recreation Ground
Programmes: Chinese ethnic dance performance, lion dance performance, golden oldies, talk show, drama and Chinese magic, lantern quiz, fortune-telling, nostalgic games and roving entertainment.

3. Urban Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival
February 23 (Wednesday), 7.30pm - 10.30pm
Ko Shan Road Park and Ko Shan Theatre
Programmes: Chinese instrumental concert, Chinese ethnic dance performance, golden oldies, Cantonese opera excerpts, lantern quiz, fortune-telling and roving entertainment.

Running until March 13, the spectacular lantern display "A Blaze of Blessings" lights Kowloon Park in this festive season. Beautiful lanterns with the Chinese motifs are displayed at the rooftop of the bus stop outside Tsim Sha Tsui Police Station at Nathan Road greeting members of the public.

The main lantern group, located near the Land Mark in the park, features the traditional "Communal Parade" of the Lunar New Year. Featuring a dragon dance under the direction of a silk pearl ball and the umbrella-shaped parasol, the lanterns symbolise the wish to obtain the blessings from the dragon, as well as a prosperous year with a good harvest. In addition to the dragon lantern parade, there are also vivid lanterns of drum dance, lion dance, bamboo-horse riding and stilt walking.

Displayed at the Land Mark are four other groups of lanterns: "Niannian Youyu" (Profusion Year After Year), "Ruyi Jixiang" (Contentment and Luck), "Sanyang Qitai" (Full Bloom of Sanyang - Heralding Peace and Brightness) and "Fugui Pingan" (Prosperity and Harmony).

The lantern "Niannian Youyu" features lotus and a pair of carps which symbolise "profusion year after year". The lotus (lianhua) is a symbol for "being rich continuously" while the carp (liyu) is an icon for "excess" or "surplus".

The lantern "Ruyi Jixiang" comprises "ruyi", a Chinese ornament representing contentment and a pile of tangerines. In Cantonese, tangerine is a pun on the Chinese word "luck". With its rich golden colour, it carries the image of a fullness of wealth. A pile of tangerines denotes the upsurge of fortune and luck.

The three lively goats in the lantern group "Sanyang Qitai" signify good fortune. "Sanyang Qitai" is also an auspicious greeting mentioned in The Book of Change. "Sanyang" is the first lunar month during which light (yang) outgrows darkness (yin); spring takes over winter and life surges back.

In "Fugui Pingan", a bouquet of peonies is arranged in a vase as the metaphor of prosperity and harmony. Over the years, peony is acclaimed as the flower of richness because of its unique quality of gracefulness that embodies the beauty of colour, aroma and shape.

Festive flowers are also displayed in the Chinese garden's lotus pond and ever-revolving pinwheels fill the piazza with a spirit of vitality for the Lunar New Year.

For more information on the above events, please call 2591 1340 or visit the website: http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/eo

Ends/Wednesday, February 16, 2005
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