Be warned: Chiu Chows to take over Sai Kung on 25 November even more than usual

by Trevor Bailey

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Chiu Chow Ghost Festival performer in Hong Kong                 Photo: China Daily Asia

Chiu Chows are everywhere. On 25 November they will explode into even greater prominence taking over Sai Kung, perhaps like we have never seen before. The police warn public squares and roads will be blocked at times on that day. Get ready for the Sai Kung Chiu Chow Festival 2018.

Expect colourful performances at Man Yee Square, Tin Hau Temple and in the Town Hall. Watch for gaily dressed clowns, fan play, acrobats and folk dancers. No one will be surprised to learn it will be noisy. The Chiu Chows love music with gongs, drums, string instruments and traditional flutes.

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Photo: Gov HK

You don’t believe Chiu Chows are everywhere? Here is a list of the great and good (maybe) of Chiu Chow descent in Hong Kong: Li Ka-shing, Albert Yeung, Joseph Lau, Vincent Lo, Lim Por-yen. Chiu Chows quietly run much of the world, e.g. Cambodia’s Hun Sen.

The police say parades will take place on 25 November on some public roads, e.g. Po Tung Road, Man Nin Road and Yi Chun Street. The District Office enlightens us: The idea, they say, is to “deepen understanding of the unique Chiu Chow and Shantou cultures”.

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Photo: Hong Kong Tourist

You have been warned. If you don’t like crowds, noise and hoopla, stay home on 25 November or escape overseas. If you do like lots of fun, music and amusing characters, get a drink from the nearby bars and join in. Bring the kids. And the dog.

A bit of background about these people who run your life far more than you know: Chiu Chows are Han Chinese native to the Chaoshan region of Eastern Guangdong. During the Jin dynasty (265 – 420) they moved to Chaoshan from the central plains of China because of the civil wars.

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