HONG KONG (AP) – In the run-up to the Lunar New Year, calligraphers set up on the streets of Hong Kong to write ink-brush phrases on traditional red paper banners for homes and offices.
Called Fai Chun in Cantonese, the banners invoke hopes of good luck, prosperity, happiness, progress in studies – whatever one’s wish is for the Year of the Tiger, which starts today. Chan King-fat, 80, perched on a plastic stool on a busy sidewalk in the Causeway Bay shopping district. His easel was a tiny folding table on which he wrote in delicate strokes on strips of red paper.
“For some businessmen, they want me to write ‘booming business’. But usually, people want me to write ‘welcome good fortune’,” he said.
Chan’s work hung on makeshift strings. He sells the banners for HKD35 (USD4.50). He has been doing so for more than a decade.
Many are well-known phrases, while others are inventive, crafted to reflect the concerns of the times.