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Budapest's Advent Basilica Secures Fourth Consecutive Win as Best Christmas Market in Europe

  • By: Tsz Yau CHANEdited by: Wisha LIMBU
  • 2023-12-12

Budapest's Advent Basilica has clinched the title of Best Christmas Market in Europe for the fourth consecutive year, as declared by European Best Destinations. The market, featuring 150 exhibitors showcasing Hungarian crafts and culinary delights, welcomes visitors until Jan 1. European Best Destinations organised the extensive vote, with over 590,000 travellers from around the world participating in the selection process. Advent Basilica's win attests to its universal appeal, enchanting visitors with its festive charm and cultural richness. Advent Basilica, themed "Where love takes your hand," is open to the public from November 17 to January 1 in front of St. Stephen's Basilica. This year's festivities maintain the market's 13-year tradition, offering a charming atmosphere with an estimated 100 domestic craft exhibitors, traditional Hungarian dishes, an ice-skate rink, and musical programs. Connie Corvet, a 27-year-old tourist from the UK, expressed her delight while savouring a warm cup of hot chocolate in the freezing weather, “This is one of the best Christmas markets I've ever been to. The atmosphere, light shows, and food are all amazing.” Mm Mark, a 20-year-old entrepreneur, and his father set up a stall selling hot beverages. Mark shared, “We chose to set up a stall here since this is one of the most popular Christmas markets in Europe.” The exceptional achievement of triumphing four times as the best European Christmas market underscores the Advent market's enduring appeal and widespread popularity. Its unique blend of Hungarian crafts, delectable culinary offerings, and a festive ambiance has consistently outshone competitors, making it a standout destination. Advent Basilika, organiser of Budapest Christmas Market, has high hopes for this year’s Christmas.  “2023 will also be a year of miracles, as the beauty of the holiday will move to Szent István Square in Budapest.”

Society

Hong Kong’s unsung heroes awarded in recognition of Hong Kong’s Spirit

  • By: Yau To LUMEdited by: Tsz Yin HO
  • 2023-12-02

Eight unsung heroes were awarded the Spirit of Hong Kong Award 2023 in recognition of their efforts to Hong Kong and representing the city's spirit for this year. Established in 2013, the campaign aimed to shine a light on the city’s unsung heroes and honour their achievements. The 11th edition of the annual campaign was co-organised by the South China Morning Post and property developer Sino Group. The award winners were announced at a ceremony on Friday evening at the Conrad Hong Kong Hotel. A panel of judges selected seven for their remarkable accomplishments in the perseverance, community, culture, innovation, teamwork and youth categories, with a new Spirit of Sustainability Award category.  The eighth winner was chosen by SCMP’s readers and won the Lion Rock People’s Choice Award. Lee Hoi-wu, 52, who took over her family’s decades-old restaurant in Hong Kong in 2014, won the Lion Rock People’s Choice Award.  “I will continue to make good milk tea, I will strive to use it to tell the good stories of Hong Kong,” she said. “I hope that people will continue to pay attention to Hong Kong and like Hong Kong,” She added. Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu congratulated the winners at the ceremony, saying that their different cultural backgrounds and upbringings represent the spirit of the city. “They are ordinary people but also heroes. Each in their own shining and singular way, they represent the spirit of Hong Kong,” Lee said. Hong Kong has had a difficult few years, particularly since 2019, according to Lee.  “Nonetheless, the people of Hong Kong have persisted. Throughout, the Hong Kong spirit has prevailed,” Lee added. The city leader praised their selfless contribution in areas spanning technology, medicine, education, culture, sports, community service and more. “They make a profound difference,” Lee said. “For the …

Society

The HKFYG Leadership Institute Open Day

  • By: Sze Kei WONG、Ka Man WongEdited by: Noah Tsang
  • 2023-11-29

 The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups hosts an open day in Fanling. It’s leadership institute is housed in what was once Fanling Magistracy.

Society

World's first Frozen-themed land opens at Hong Kong Disneyland

  • By: Yee Ling TSANG、Wai Sum CHEUNGEdited by: Tsz In Warren LEUNG
  • 2023-11-27

Hong Kong Disneyland unveiled its new playland based on the theme of the movie, Frozen. It is the first and only playland on this theme among the world’s Disneyland Resorts.  

Society

Hong Kong TransLantau 2023 Returns With New Challenges

  • By: KONG Tsz YuenEdited by: Kei Tung LAM
  • 2023-11-13

Hong Kong TransLantau hosted by UTMB, marked its triumphant return on Nov 10 after a two-year pause due to the pandemic. This year’s new challenge was the TL140, a 129 km trail boasting a cumulative elevation gain of 6,700 metres. The three-day event on Lantau featured four different trails, including 25 km, 50 km, 100 km, and 129 km.  Participants of the 129 km trail needed training in order to complete the course within the 40-hour timeframe. Participants had to go up and downhill with the highest point at Lantau Peak at a rise of  934 metres. There were 12 strategically placed refreshment posts along the course. To enter the TransLantau140 by UTMB, runners had to complete a 50 km or 100 km trail race in under 12 hours. Tom Joly from the UK, the winner of TL140, crossed the finish line in 16 hours and nearly 48 minutes. He has won Ultra Sierra Nevada Trail 2022, 2023, Kong Lakes ultra-long course 2022, and more.  Among the contenders, Grace Law, 34, who ranked among the top five in the 35-39 age group for women for  100 km, said she has been preparing for this competition for over six months. Law said her preparation included testing energy gels and creating a personalized food approach, such as a plant-based Onigiri known for its sour and sweet taste, resistant to spoilage. “The food preparation is very personal. One of my foods is plum Onigiri; the taste is sour and sweet, and it does not spoil, and I need a plant-based Onigiri,” said Law. “The support team must be very sensitive to the runners’ condition. If the condition is not good, the runner may need to rest for an extra minute, requiring a support team familiar with the runner to adjust,” she added. The …

Society

“Seed to Cup” promotes coffee farming culture in Hong Kong

  • By: Ngai Fung NG、Wai Yan MIUEdited by: Tsz In Warren LEUNG
  • 2023-11-09

A newbie farmer right here in Hong Kong is promoting locally-grown coffee, the “Seed to Cup” project aims to take coffee lovers from the beans to a steaming hot drink.

Society

Kulturnatten's 30th Anniversary: A Night of Light and Culture in Copenhagen 13/10/2023

  • By: Tsz Yau CHANEdited by: Wisha LIMBU
  • 2023-10-20

Copenhagen's annual Culture Night, known as "Kulturnatten," dazzled the central city with lights, music, and a resilient spirit despite challenging weather conditions. The 30th Anniversary of this celebration had an impressive turnout of over 63,000 attendees.  All cultural night events required a Culture Pass at a cost of 110 Danish Krone  (HK$121) from either a mobile app or through 7-Eleven stores. The Culture Pass covered free transportation on trains, buses and the Metro in selected city areas from 4 am to 4 pm during the event. The charming streets of Copenhagen were transformed into a vibrant tapestry of culture. Museums, city halls, and churches which normally closed at night were all lit with majestic light shows.  Reflecting on the event's growth since 1993, Marie Myschetzky, Secretariat manager for Kulturnatten, noted the remarkable expansion from 45 events in the first year to over 200 high-quality special events after 30 years. Myscheytzky emphasised the event’s role in making culture and the city accessible to everyone. "New generations are invited behind the scenes of the city, and spaces are created for delving into history and contemporary topics in an exciting way," she said. As night fell, the once-silent library underwent a magical transformation into a mysterious maze adorned with lasers and music, concealing treasures of acorns. Kathrine, 41, and her son Cal, 3 visited the Norrebro Library and went on a treasure hunt in the Labyrinth of books and shelves.  Young detectives like Cal eagerly embarked on a quest to discover hidden acorns. Upon finding them, Cal skillfully assembled them into figurines using sticks and glue. “The Culture Night event is really good for family activities. Cal gets to visit places that are usually closed at this time,” said Kathrine. “When I was young, I would go to other ball parties at Culture …

Society

Digital Art Fair 2023 highlights AI-generated art on nostalgic theme

  • By: Juncong SHUAI、Junzhe JIANGEdited by: Bella Ding
  • 2023-10-19

The 2023 Asia edition of the Digital Art Fair kicked off with nostalgia at K11 Art & Cultural Centre today, highlighting AI-generated art. It is the first post-pandemic digital art fair in Hong Kong with a special exhibition zone dedicated to AI-generated art. “AI can unlock the creativity of artists,” said Jessica Marinaro, senior director at digital artwork market, MakersPlace, “Artists can train AI to be an expert in their work and be prompted like ‘if you were me, what would you do next’.”  The Red Prayer of Park Young Sook’s Moon Jar I & II is the result of collaboration between new media artist, Ming Shiu and her AI partner Genesis Kai.  They used traditional Korean Joseon ceramics to explore interaction with Asia’s diverse cultures. “We artists have also been super nostalgic but we will use the tools of the future,” said Herman Rahman, Co-Curator and Fair Manager of  Art & Technology. Take Your Time, a site-specific and multi-sensory installation, was created by Hong Kong artist, Jonathan Jay Lee under the inspiration of old neon lights in this city. The artwork is meant to showcase and preserve the cultural heritage of Hong Kong utilising digital technology, according to Digital Art Fair. Echoing a theme of nostalgia but beyond generative arts, digital artist Henry Chu launched Rainfall Piano this year, which is made of just LED lights, screens and stones. “I was driven by technology to showcase something new because it could easily attract people’s eyeballs and earn quick money,” said Chu, “But I want to go back to the purity of art…many artists are focusing on the origin of the art after the pandemic.” This year’s fair also includes four other sections: the immersive zone filled with 3D animations, the Inspire Zone of web3 technologies, the Prestige Zone displaying …

Society

Hong Kong Electronics Fair attracts global buyers with creative technology and consumer electronic products

  • By: Ka Man Wong、Ji Youn LeeEdited by: Nga Ying LAU
  • 2023-10-14

Hong Kong Autumn Electronics Fair kicked off on Friday at Wan Chai’s Convention and Exhibition Centre and attracted 3,200 exhibitors from 22 regions, hoping to expand business opportunities. Registered booths showcased home and office appliances and featured wireless charging, network technology, robotics, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT) home appliances.  Huizhou TCL Mobile Communications, ranked second in Omdia’s 2022’s Global TV Household Database, presented their tab series with a pad like Amazon’s Kindle.  “The fair helps TCL reach the potential customers, sell tablets with full-colour electronic paper display to foreigners or overseas education institutes,” Liu Cui-chan, 30, a product manager of TCL said. Felix Chan, 23, is an engineer for MircroFlow, a startup which specialises in manufacturing microbe detecting kits ten times faster than commercial products. MicroFlow partnered with HKBU to introduce faster detection kits for drug-resistant germs.  “I didn't know so many people were interested in my products,” he said. “I think it is a great chance to talk about my product to a wider audience”. The Hall of Fame Zone at the new wing encompassed consumer electronics products of emerging brands from South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.  Hong Un-gi, 28, the sales specialist for Hantle, a Korean manufacturer of scanners and ATMs, flew from Korea through a government program aiming to connect Korean companies and international buyers administered by the Korean Institute for Advancement of Technology. “One of my goals is to look at similar industries and competitors and reference their sales techniques,” Hong said. “I want to build new connections and get potential buyers.”  The organiser, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), and partners are also hosting more than 80 events and forums at the fair, according to the press release. International product demos and a pitching competition for startups are planned for later …

Society

Tai Hang Fire Dragon dances for the first time in four years

  • By: Lisheng CHENG、Ji Youn LeeEdited by: Yu Yin WONG
  • 2023-10-05

The Tai Hang Fire Dragon danced for the first time in four years during the Mid-Autumn Festival. This year’s performance from Sept. 27 to Sept. 30, is part of the government's efforts to revive Hong Kong’s entertainment and tourism sectors after a long stretch of pandemic lockdowns.  As festive season kicks off, people from across the world are back in the city, some specifically for the fire dragon. Alex Grion, 16, is a tourist from France. “I enjoy the strong traditional Chinese culture atmosphere here,” he told The Young Reporter. The Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance has a rich 180-year history. It originated from a folk story about a buddhist monk who was told to create a burning dragon out of incense to ward off pestilence. Nowadays, residents of the area create a dragon out of incense sticks and burn it during the three day Mid-Autumn festival celebration to wish for good luck.  The ritual has been recognised as a national heritage by the mainland  and Hong Kong in 2011 and 2017 respectively,  John Lau, a 50-year-old Tai Hang resident, was so excited and kept cheering.  “I have participated in this activity since I was a child. The dragon is a symbol of peace and happiness for us,” said John. The 67 metre dragon is traditionally carried by 300 of Tai Hang’s current and past residents, and stretches about the length of two blocks. Michelle Cheung, 60, runs a souvenir booth for the dragon dance. HIs products  range from T-shirts to commemorative dolls holding incense sticks.  The shop owner is glad to see the dragon’s comeback.  “After so many years of the epidemic, seeing so many people come to participate this year is actually a reflection of Hong Kong's renewed vitality. Because everyone had to stay at home and not …