Summer

Major Heat: Rotted weeds turn into fireflies


January 26th, 2012
by Jo Law

This pentad ended on the third day of the Chinese lunar new year. The year of the dragon urshered in a minimum of 9.4ºC and a maximum of 11.4ºC. The low air temperatures combined with with a cold northerly (both results of the winter monsoon in mainland China) and high humidity made for a surprising chilly new year. The Hong Kong Observatory recorded the lowest seasonal minimum of 7.4ºC since 1996. A cold weather warning is now ‘in force’, it thoughtfully adivses: “to put on warm clothes and to avoid adverse health effects due to the cold weather…. If you must go out, please avoid prolonged exposure to wintry winds. If you know of elderly persons or persons with chronic medical conditions staying alone, please call or visit them occasionally to check if they need any assistance. Make sure heaters are safe before use, and place them away from any combustibles. Do not light fires indoors as a means to keep warm. Whatever the temperature, please ensure that there is plenty of fresh air in your room when you are using an old-type gas water heater.”

Still the cold weather did not deter the crowds from returning to the streets during the three-day public holidays. The television weather report showed regular swimmers who braved the cold for their morning swim in the harbour on new year’s day. While some take the opportunity to travel, others perfer to engage in outdoor activies. Along with visiting families and relatives, asking gods and deities for favours is high on some people’s agenda. At the temples, incense are offered, fortunes are told, and various good luck charms are bought. And of course, there is the not-to-be-missed chance of getting bargins at the new year sales.

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