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What is with leaving all your lights on during CNY?

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  1. #1

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    What is with leaving all your lights on during CNY?

    I am rarely in HK during CNY, so this year I noticed a lot of people leave all their lights on during CNY, inside and out for the whole day/night.

    What is the deal with this?


  2. #2

    Travelling - want to give the impression they are at home?

    https://youtu.be/KCBS5EtszYI?si=I-H1MmSp-hGhrtcz


  3. #3

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by emx:
    I am rarely in HK during CNY, so this year I noticed a lot of people leave all their lights on during CNY, inside and out for the whole day/night.

    What is the deal with this?
    Its also an Indian tradition.. no idea what the Chinese reason is.

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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsianXpat0:
    Makes sense ... Most of these reasons are glamorised hunter gatherer self protection / common sense to us these days.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elefant&Castle:
    Travelling - want to give the impression they are at home?
    Nah, they are all there and active houses, as they are normally pitch black/dark in the evenings after 11pm.

    Anyway there seems to be the answer listed above!
    Elefant&Castle likes this.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by shri:
    Makes sense ... Most of these reasons are glamorised hunter gatherer self protection / common sense to us these days.
    Yes, I know the tradition, but had forgotten the reason. Nobody needs to remember, unless in a position to revisit tradition. Same thing in most state and corporate bureaucracies…

  8. #8

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    Different question - there was a load of vegetables hanging on strings around the place yesterday. Any idea what that was about? I nearly got hit on the head with a hanging lettuce!


  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by HK_Katherine:
    Different question - there was a load of vegetables hanging on strings around the place yesterday. Any idea what that was about? I nearly got hit on the head with a hanging lettuce!
    Yes, this is for the Lion Dancers to "eat" and is a play on words in Cantonese as vegetable sounds somethhing like money or some such (coworkers explained it). I watched lion dancers eating the lettuce/cabbage hanginng up...

    Maybe someone has the exact explanation...

    Ah, here is one:
    Lettuce is the staple food of lions in Southern Chinese Lion Dancing. The reason for this, as is common with symbolic foods in Chinese culture, the phonetic associations of the word "lettuce" in Chinese. "Sang Coi" (cantonese) is an adjective-noun construction which literally means "raw vegetables". However, the character which means "raw" can also mean "to produce" or "to create". By changing the tone of the second character, we can get the meaning "wealth"; and so we now have a verb-object construction meaning "to get rich". Thus the Chinese word for "lettuce" sounds almost identical to the construction "to get rich", with the exception of a tone change on one of the characters.