Chinese New Year wishing tree in HK damaged after visitor gets carried away

Chinese New Year wishing tree in HK damaged after visitor gets carried away

‘Accident’ caused by visitor who was not happy about where his paper wish had landed

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A visitor allegedly dragged his paper wish against the leaves and branches, and broke part of the branches.

The Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees are in trouble again after a man became too excited when he made his new year’s wish. The man threw his wish at the 7.6-metre-high fibreglass tree in Tai Po on Wednesday evening, but wasn’t happy with the result.

“According to an eyewitness we spoke to, a male visitor was not satisfied with where his paper wish landed on the tree,” the director of Lam Tsuen Wishing Square Development Limited, Lam Luk-wing, told Young Post. “He dragged it against the leaves and branches, and broke part of the branches.”

Immediately after the incident, which happened at 6.10pm, guards installed a wired fence around the tree to prevent visitors from getting close to it, Lam said. Notices were posted this morning, warning visitors against similar behaviour, he added.

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The overburdened wishing tree is one of four in the village. The trees attract many locals and tourists alike during the Lunar New Year.

Visitors write their wishes on a piece of paper which is tied to a fake orange, and toss them onto the trees. It is believed that the wishes will come true if they stay on the tree branches.

“To increase the chances of success, we have arranged staff to pick up fallen paper wishes inside the fence so that visitors can try their luck again,” Lam said. “A ‘buy one, get one free’ deal is offered to visitors, too.”

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Lam advised visitors to roll the wish cards for better chances of success. “It minimises air resistance, which allows it to go higher when you throw it in the air.”

The artificial tree was installed by the Heung Yee Kuk in 2010. It replaced a Chinese banyan after one of its overloaded branches fell in 2005, injuring two people. Also, real oranges – which were used in the wish-making practice – were replaced by lightweight plastic ones. Lam said the current tree would be replaced after the Lunar New Year. “We will pick a new spot to accommodate more visitors as well,” he added.

Edited by M. J. Premaratne

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Branches of artificial wishing tree fall

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