Chinese New Year 2013: Photos From the Year Of the Snake

Chinese New Year is one of the two most important holidays in China: it is one of the two holidays (the other being October 1 and National Week) in which workers are granted a week-long holiday. It sparks the world's largest migration. But in Special Administrative Region Hong Kong, the situation is altogether less frenetic.  

2013 is the year of the snake in the 12-year and 12-animal Chinese zodiac.

But it's very much a buzz kill after 2012's year of the dragon. Dragon years (2012, 2000, 1988) are considered auspicious. Snake years (2013, 2001, 1989) are less so. Instead, they're inconsistent. Recent snake years have witnessed tragedies such as 9/11, the fall of the USSR, the Pearl Harbour attack and the stock market crash of 1929.

Retailers are already disappointed after slow Snake merchandise sales. It's hard to market snakes as cute creatures — even with hilariously long eyelashes — and after a bumper dragon year it's hard to inspire excitement for a snake year. Instead, malls and government entities are altogether avoiding snakes, focusing on cuter animals like pandas.

Here are a few photos from the famous Victoria Park Chinese New Year market:

App icons as pillows (merchandise has very little to do with Chinese New Year).

Adidas was one of the few retailers particularly zealous in its use of the snake. Also its fake jade beads on its shoes are a nice touch.

A shop display in Causeway Bay's World Trade Centre: because ducks dressed as snakes are cuter than snakes. 

Cherry blossoms in Times Square's atrium.

British retailer Jack Wills also interpreted the snake: its body is made of red lanterns.

Abstract snakes hanging from the ceiling in luxury mall Landmark.

Frolicking pandas in the International Financial Centre.

A statue of the God of Fortune in front of the Hong Kong Botanical Gardens' fountain.

Decorations in front of a stair garden at Hong Kong Park.

A display of a Chinese dragon and some snakes at Hong Kong Park.

And to end with: a bus with a cute cartoon snake ad.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Ashley Lee

A journalist from LA living in Hong Kong. Currently working for a B2B financial law publication. Graduated from Wellesley College in 2011.

MORE FROM

White House says it knows of potential Syrian chemical attack, warns Assad of "heavy price"

The Trump administration did not provide any evidence backing the threat.

Serena Williams responds to John McEnroe's comments saying she would rank "like 700" against men

Williams said his statements were "not factually based."

People are way less likely to be helpful when it's hot out, according to study

Sorry, it's too hot out to help you move.

Democrats, the American Medical Association and US bishops blast the Senate health care bill

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 15 million more Americans will be without health insurance next year if the bill passes.

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.

White House says it knows of potential Syrian chemical attack, warns Assad of "heavy price"

The Trump administration did not provide any evidence backing the threat.

Serena Williams responds to John McEnroe's comments saying she would rank "like 700" against men

Williams said his statements were "not factually based."

People are way less likely to be helpful when it's hot out, according to study

Sorry, it's too hot out to help you move.

Democrats, the American Medical Association and US bishops blast the Senate health care bill

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 15 million more Americans will be without health insurance next year if the bill passes.

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.