Although the Chinese New Year, marked in February, is the most significant holiday of the year in Hong Kong, Ta Chiu, which takes place on Dec. 27, is another important winter festival. At the height of winter, those who participate in this Taoist observance pray to the ghosts of their ancestors and the gods for the granting of wishes in the coming year.
Then, a priest reads out the names of the living who have gathered for the festival, and then affixes the list of their names to a paper horse. The horse is set alight, and it is believed that the plumes of smoke from the burning figure will carry the names of the living up to their ancestors in the heavens, as a reminder of their wishes for the months to come.
Photo: Alan Isherwood via Flickr