Localization of Christmas Celebration

By Amy Hwang

Looking at the ornamentation nowadays, it may seem like Hong Kong is not really reflecting its distinct culture into decorations. However, the highlights of nearly all decorations are stemmed out from the traditional and cultural facets of Hong Kong. Also, even the food industry is participating into such a trend of mixing Hong Kong’s special culture with Christmas celebration.

Not only known as a mecca for shopping, Hong Kong is also remembered as one of the cities with the most beautiful night views. This had been possible with help of neon signs filling the entire city. People might think Christmas decorations are only about the trees and mascots. However, in Hong Kong, there are light shows which highlight the Christmas celebration.

Understanding the evolution of street lights would help to see why Hong Kong has chosen neon signs as one of the vital elements in Christmas ornamentation. In the context of Hong Kong, neon signs they play the communicative role of typography, illustration and graphic design, especially to attract people’s attention among all the shops and restaurants in a single building. While neon signs offered a seductive visual vocabulary for the 20th century, in the 21st, they and the skills that produced them are being supplanted by LED and other, newer technologies.

Of course, fancy neon signs fascinate people at first sight, but the reason Hong Kong is so professional and famous of it relates to its history. Hong Kong is therefore taking neon signs mostly as the highlight of the ornamentation.

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One of the Miniatures in Times Square

Taking neon signs as the signature of the streets in Hong Kong, Times Square chose to showcase the miniatures of street scenes of Hong Kong for this Christmas. With Tony  Lai skilled at handling structures and Maggie Chan adept at modelling food, the pair meticulously replicated their fondest memories from the 1980s in miniatures, bringing back the old days in Hong Kong through every consummate detail. You can visit Times Square Causeway Bay to watch them.

If you have ever visited restaurants or cafes during Christmas season, you would have noticed that there are “season special menu” which often comes along with decorations on the food. One of the most cultural food in Hong Kong is milk tea.

While the old people enjoyed milk tea as afternoon tea with little snacks as tradition, people nowadays are drinking milk tea whenever they want- no matter it comes along with breakfast, lunch, or dinner, with whatever they have for meals. Also, especially the youth are now enjoying milk tea as a dessert or even instead of meals, since there have been great developments in milk tea such as putting toppings of aloe, tapioca pearls, and jellies into it and naming it as bubble tea.

Hence just as other franchise brands, milk tea brands located in Hong Kong are also providing various special menu to the public. Some brands come up with special printings and paintings on the cups or the cup holder, and some others introduce seasonal menu. You may find them from the most famous brands such as Gong Cha, Shared Tea, and Coco.

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Milk tea event hosted by Black and White (Photo copyrights @Black and White)

Recently, Black and White hosted an event for all the milk tea lovers in Hong Kong, and this event was a perfect collaboration of two distinct Hong Kong cultures mentioned above- neon signs and milk tea.

Along with its unique culture such as application of neon signs and milk tea, Hong Kong also brings different cultures to create its own theme and offers unforgettable memory to all the visitors.