Since one of the
branches of the Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree gave way and injured two
people during the Chinese New Year in 2005, the practice of throwing
up the joss paper has been banned. (People wrote their wishes on
joss paper, tied to an orange and then threw them up to hang on the
Wishing Tree. If the paper successfully hung onto the tree
branches, wishes would come true.) Instead, a Japanese-style way of
making wishes was adopted. (Wooden racks were set up in place for
the joss papers to be hung.) The deviation of the traditional
culture was voted with the feet of tourists. The number of tourists
(or locals) dropped significantly.
is an old Chinese Banyan (Ficus microcarpa). The joss paper
were thrown up and then ripped off. The money-making tool was
heartily destroyed. What an unsustainable way of development! The
result is such a classic negative example. The wish-making
tradition only returned in 2010 when an artificial Wishing tree was
installed and brought back all the festiveness.
episode of Wishing Tree affects the tree development in Hong Kong.
All trees of historical and cultural significance are re-valued and
taken seriously. Soil improvement, pruning of broken branches,
fortifying weak branches,… all contribute to a profound branch of