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Lantern Festival with no fanfare

Lunar New Year lantern festivities are cancelled in Hong Kong for a third year because of the fifth wave of Covid-19.

Traditionally, the Lantern Festival is celebrated on the first full moon after Lunar New Year. It marks the end of the New Year celebrations and is also known as Chinese Valentine's Day.

But Covid restrictions have forced cancellation of carnivals that used to be held in public parks in Hong Kong.

Ng Jing-yi, a mother of four, used to invite her relatives and friends over for dinner and would take her children to the Lantern Festival carnival. However, this year she only plans to celebrate the last day of the Lunar New Year by cooking some frozen rice dumplings at home.

“When there was no epidemic, the lantern carnivals in Tsim Sha Tsui were always crowded with people who talked and laughed in a festive atmosphere. But now the increasing number of new cases makes me anxious and I just want to stay at home,” Ms.Ng said.

Li Zishuo, a mainland student in his junior year at the University of Hong Kong, said this was his third Lunar New Year in Hong Kong, but he never felt the lively festival atmosphere that he heard of before the pandemic.

“Before I came to Hong Kong for university, I heard that the Lunar New Year celebrations here are unique, especially the Lantern Festival carnival. Unfortunately, since 2020 the activities have been cancelled because of the coronavirus,” he said.

Hong Kong on Tuesday reported 1,619 new confirmed cases and another 5,400 preliminary positive cases of Covid.

“As far as Hong Kong is concerned, we need to find our own way out of this epidemic, and so far, our measures to contain the spread of the disease remains a legitimate and valid one. The problem we are facing, given the magnitude, pace and severity of this fifth wave, has outgrown our capacity,” chief executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said in a media session today.

《The Young Reporter》

The Young Reporter (TYR) started as a newspaper in 1969. Today, it is published across multiple media platforms and updated constantly to bring the latest news and analyses to its readers.


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