While the two groups said they would distribute their merchandise through other channels, other political groups set up their stalls at the fair in Victoria Park, Causeway Bay, ready for a busy week. The fair closes in the early hours of next Saturday.
Every year, pro-democracy groups sell satirical political merchandise mocking controversial government officials. This year’s target of ridicule is the upcoming chief executive election, widely deemed a “small-circle” race as only 1,200 Election Committee members are eligible to vote for the city’s next leader.
The Labour Party designed a board game likening the election to horse racing. The game includes chance cards associated with real-world political events, such as handshakes with Chinese President Xi Jinping and “bear hugs” from former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa.
The Civic Party made a lottery wheel for the next chief executive, with a footnote saying: “Do you really think you have a choice?”
The Civic Party’s Alan Leong, Audrey Eu, Tanya Chan and Andy Cheng Tat-hung laughed as the wheel, spun by Leong, stopped at leadership hopeful and lawmaker Regina Ip.
They also showcased a Fai Chun – a traditional decoration hung on doors during the Lunar New Year for luck and prosperity – which said: “Red and green lights everywhere; Pringles [John Tsang] and Carrie Lam, who will be chosen?”
The Democratic Party designed a political version of the Chinese board game “Aeroplane Chess” and the Chinese “Fish Prawn Crab” dice-game.
The League of Social Democrats mocked incumbent leader Leung Chun-ying and his two former cabinet members Carrie Lam and John Tsang, who are both running for chief executive. They called Lam “CY Leung’s copy” and Tsang a “scrooge.”
Their stall featured a cartoon of Lam, Tsang and Ip performing a boot-licking lion dance. The lion’s body read: “Helping a tyrant to do evil in order to climb the ranks and become rich.”
Making their debut in this year’s fair, the Demosistō party sold towels, T-shirts and tote bags featuring themes such as self-determination, democracy and the rule of law.
One of the books the People Power party sold was titled the “Rooster Law,” which explores six provisions in the Basic Law that the party suggested amending. “Rooster” is pronounced similarly to “basic” in Cantonese.
The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China set up a June 4th Museum, an exhibition documenting the Chinese government’s violent crackdown on Tiananmen Square protesters on June 4, 1989. The historical event remains a taboo topic in mainland China.
Localist group Civic Passion sold political books their members penned. One of them was about the “failures” of the 2014 pro-democracy Occupy protests, while another documented crimes committed by off-duty police officers.
The pro-Beijing New People’s Party also ran a small stall at the fair, though without politically themed merchandise. A party member wrote traditional Fai Chun decorations for fairgoers on Sunday.
Meanwhile, many stalls run by young people and students featured merchandise of chickens and popular cartoon characters such as Pokemon.
A total of 15 Lunar New Year fairs are held across Hong Kong between January 22 and 28.