Chinese Ground Hog Day, Chinese Insects Awake Day or Excited Insects Day is one of the 24 Chinese solar divisions. Hibernated animals should come back and rejoice the arrival of Spring and it marks the beginning of new life. This includes creepy crawly insects and bugs which most people would rather squash when they see one. And somehow this turns into beating up paper tigers that symbolizing your enemies or what we called petti people such that you will be free of trouble or misfortune.
Canal Street in Wanchai is “THE” street for beating ‘petti people’ Many old ladies there will sell you incense sticks and yellow paper tigers. It’s up to you to write your enemies’ name on the paper tiger or not. Some people even tuck the photo of the enemy into the paper tiger. Common enemies are bosses, husband’s mistress or even Tung Chee Wah (the first Chief Executive of HK) when people dislike his policy. Then you pay the old lady $50 and she will beat that paper tiger for you with a shoe. I often thought that the old lady will curse your enemy for you while she is beating up the paper tiger. But it is said that it is not necessarily the case. Some people simply ask the shoe-beater to pray for their family and free of misfortune. Another form of praying.
Chinese Groundhog Day / Excited Insects Day typically falls on 5th or 6th of Mar each year. Check out our festival calendar of current year.
Burning paper offerings – it seems that you can’t be healthy and safe unless you bribe the god with offerings.
Sitting on a plastic stool, this old lady helps her customer to get rid of enemies and misfortune by beating a piece of paper symbolizes all bad luck.
Another informal Chinese Festival: Ghosts Festival