Reunion dinner on Lunar New Year’s Eve sees costlier ingredients

High prices didn’t scare away shoppers wishing to prepare a feast for the reunion dinner on Lunar New Year’s Eve, with shop owners in wet markets saying citizens were more willing to spend.

Citizens arrived at Kowloon City Market as early as 9am on Saturday, with a great number of vehicles parked outside Hau Wong Road.

Sister Ling, who sells chicken there, said customers didn’t really care about the species or the prices as long as the chicken was alive.

On the other hand, a citizen spent HK$400 on a red grouper fish. She said although it was costlier than usual, she wished to have a nice meal with her family tonight and spoke of the luck the fish represented.

Another citizen surnamed Law said her family and she would be dining out tonight at a Western restaurant. Still, she went to the market and bought food this morning to prepare for the next few days.

Law noted that the market was less crowded when compared to previous years, and believed that was because more and more people have been leaving Hong Kong for good.

Two housewives, surnamed Lam and Lee, expected to spend about HK$2,000 and HK$4,000 respectively on food.

However, another shopkeeper who sells chicken seemed a bit concerned and expected a 10 to 20 percent decrease in sales.

She pointed out that many people flocked to mainland to celebrate the Spring Festival as the borders reopened, while others preferred to dine out to save the trouble of cooking.