Citizens have been urged not to go “villain hitting” on Saturday in order to reduce social contact, as Hong Kong battles with the fifth wave of Covid-19 outbreaks. Stalls have agreed to not open for business.

The Chinese tradition involves paying someone to strike a piece of paper with a name or a person’s photo in order to repel bad luck or wrongdoing. It usually takes place during “Insects Awakening,” one of the 24 solar terms in the Chinese calendar.

Wan Chai villain hitting
“Villain hitting” in Wan Chai. File photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

The police, in a statement published on Thursday evening, said that the force and the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department will take relevant action on Saturday as they urged people not to go to Wan Chai, where the majority of “villain hitting” stalls are situated.

“…[L]aw enforcement departments will rigorously carry out joint enforcement operation against non-compliance of anti-epidemic regulations and public [cleanliness] offences. Fixed penalty notices will be issued to offenders without prior warning,” the statement read.

Wan Chai villain hitting
Crowds gathering in Wan Chai for “villain hitting” on March 5, 2021. Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

According to the police, the chairperson of the Wan Chai District Council and the Wan Chai District Office have also reached an agreement with stalls and operators, pledging that they will not open for business on Saturday.

Cheung Chau Bun festival cancelled

The annual Cheung Chau Bun festival, which was set to be held between April and May, has been cancelled as well, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department announced on Friday.

cheung chau bun festival
File Photo: GovHK.

The cancellation means that the city’s “bun tower” competition, where contestants climb up a tower covered with buns, has been called off for three consecutive years.

Hong Kong has recorded 350,557 Covid-19 cases and 1,358 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic two years ago.

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Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.