I’ll risk antagonising the two readers of this blog by saying: Hong Kong has too many holidays!!!
I mean – now that Christmas is finally over (although you wouldn’t think so with all the “Xmas” decorations still knocking about) and the 2008 celebrations well and truly in the box, along comes another new year hot on the heels of the last one.
As soon as Chinese New Year, the decorations for which started appearing in early January, is over, bugger me if we won’t have Easter, another Christian/pagan holiday, to contend with.
Then it’s Ching Ming, the grave-sweeping extravaganza, and after that the sacred celebrations for the return of Hong Kong to the Motherland; and before you know it, it’s October 1st again and time to prostrate oneself in front of the Great Hall of The People (to which The People have no access) to celebrate that most important event in the history of the world: The Communist revolution.
Where will it end? Now that the British have buggered off and the people of Hong Kong (Li Ka Shing) are masters of their own house in the memorable words of former Beijing puppet Tung Chee-hwa, isn’t it time we did away with the Christianity-based holidays here in Hong Kong?
Yes, yes, I know: Every expat on a salary with or without perks like free housing, schooling and so many trips “home” a year, welcomes each little opportunity to take a week off. One week for Christmas if not two, one week for CNY, one for Easter … the list goes on.
But how about us poor self-employed bastards? Now that one or two weeks of every month are dedicated to our clients buggering off, how will we live? Eh? And Easter – don’t get me started! What a ludicrous holiday. Celebrate Jesus’ death?
If Jesus was born on the same day every year, how come he died on completely different days – last year it was some time in April, this year in bloody March?!?
One thing is that my income and work routine suffer major upsets almost every month. But do we really need the entire city covered in awful Christmas decorations ( I seem to remember a giant pumpkin carriage complete with blinking deer in IFC in the Christmas of 2006) shortly followed by every MTR station, shopping mall and restaurant groaning under empty lai see packets and other paraphernalia, the decorations changing every year. I presume the old ones end up in landfills.
The waste! The expenditure on special lights, buildings festooned with 2 million lightbulb decorations, the fireworks… I’m sure the Christian and Chinese decorations in HK alone take up 20% of the global total in waste of electricity alone.
It’s time HK set an example for the world in saving, not spending. Get rid of the bloody holidays, save heaps of money and carbon footprints and let people have an undisturbed week of work a couple of times a year at least.
Well, I’m off to China to freeze my arse off hitchhiking around Guangdong province. Snow or no snow, at least I won’t have to hand out lai see packets to spoilt little shits who have too much money anyway.