Monday, February 14, 2005

Tree murderers

The poor wishing tree near where we live is dying. I guess it has been dying for a while now, but after the on slaught of up to ten thousand visitors a day over the Chinese New Year period, a branch was snapped off and apparently hit someone on the head. The legend of the tree goes as follows:

Wishing Tree:Towering beside the Tin Hau Temple in Lam Tsuen, this Tree seems
to be covered in deep crimson colours from a distance. Only up close do you
realize that the Wishing Tree is actually laden with wishes written on bright
red paper. It used to be a camphor tree where a tablet for enshrining and
worshipping Pak Kung was placed. As time went on, the branches and leaves
began to wither and eventually it became a hollow tree. Legend says that a
worshipper had a son who was very slow in learning. As a result of the wish
he made after worshipping the hollow tree, his son, however, had completely
changed and made incredible improvement in his academic performance. Words
spread and people flocked to the place to make wishes, and the Tree was quite
generous with its magic. Today, it not only attracts people from all around
Hong Kong, but it is also popular with foreign visitors. It has become one of
the biggest tourist attractions of Hong Kong.

This official description does not, however, explain why people nowadays throw oranges up the tree as they make their wishes (BTW, check out the comments section in the lam tsuen website - it's very strange). And apparently the oranges are supposed to stay on the tree for your wish to come true. A specialist went to look at the tree and declared that it will die within the next few years. If that tree dies, the only good thing that will come out of it is that traffic on the Lam Kam Road will be a lot less chaotic this time next year.

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