Back

Leo Burnett
Hong Kong 1997 Calendar



In 1997, Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule. It was a good time for reflection about life in Hong Kong.



Calendar Cover

Nineteen-ninety-seven is the year and Hong Kong is the place.
It's our year and we will spend half of it as British and half as Chinese,
which seems exactly right, for Hong Kong has benefited equally
from the influence of these two countries and cultures.
We've captured a few of the things that charm us most about our city
and offer them to you as a calendar.
Because we want this to be your year as well.


January

January

The Chopstick Diet

If less body and more soul is your New Year's resolution, we recommend the Chopstick Diet, especially if you've never used them before. To make this diet truly effective, we suggest three main food groups: 1) peas, a one-at-a-time green vegetable that won't make you fat even if you master chopsticks, 2) Chinese Button Mushrooms in Slippery Sauce which should keep you enthralled and unfed for hours, and 3) any delicacy put on your plate by a fellow diner (sea cucumber is a popular give-away). If all else fails, discard one of the chopsticks and start over.

February

February

East Meets West

One of the benefits of working in Hong Kong is a calendar that celebrates the holidays of both East and West. New Year's Day in the solar calendar is matched by New Year's Day in the lunar calendar. A day off for the Queen's birthday is matched by a day off for Dragon Boat Races. Easter is balanced by Ching Ming when we sweep our ancestors' graves. And six months later we sweep them again at Chung Yeung before we deck the Christmas halls. In the same East/West spirit, we think of this February as the beginning of the Year of the Chocolate Ox. And dedicate it to lovers of valentines and chocolates and, above all, change.

March

March

Something To Crow About

When a pair of legs like this walks into your life, you're tempted to believe anything you're told. But 100-year-old eggs aren't. One hundred days is closer to the truth. Coated with lime, rolled in rice husks and buried, they're cooked by the lime and tinted by the mud until they look ancient. In Hong Kong, the most interesting place to find these eggs is a small lane in Western district known as Egg Street. Here you'll find chicken eggs, duck eggs, goose eggs and speckled quail eggs. It's even possible they have Easter eggs, but if they do, they hide them.

April

April

April Showers

When water isn't hanging in the air as humidity, it's racing down Hong Kong hills in hopes of becoming a flash flood. That's real excitement for rain. Joining up with other droplets and forming -- surprise -- walls of water where air used to be. Hikers vanish. Cattle swirl away in torrents. People surf by in cars. And sampans stand in for taxis in the New Territories. Of course, it's all over the next instant. The ducks come out, the sun reappears, the humidity soars and we're once again importing water from China.

May

May

Music To Our Ears

Thirty mosquitoes in daylight are nothing compared to one lone terrorist at night. Waiting until you're nearly asleep, the Stealth Pest approaches with engines roaring. Night after night, you wait until he hovers just above your ear before you strike -- knocking yourself so senseless that trying it again a few minutes later seems reasonable. It's really time for a mosquito net. There is no more satisfying sound in the world than the grumpy buzz of an unfed bug. Unless it is a chorus. And there is nothing more sensual than sleeping beneath white gossamer. Unless it is black.

June

June

Countdown

The countdown began 156 years ago with the signing of Hong Kong's first lease. While the ink was drying, it must have seemed an impossibly distant date, but now we're down to the last 30 days. At the stroke of midnight on the last day of June, the world's most laissez-faire, free-market economy will reunite with the world's largest market. Sounds like a perfect match to us.

July

July

Good Fortune

When it comes to omens, it helps to have more than one animal on your side. The bat brings good fortune and happiness. Fish signify abundance and wealth. Cranes represent longevity. And the deer is a symbol of high status, from which wealth and happiness will follow. But when we see all these hopes and dreams so intricately carved in bone and wood and ivory and stone, we are reminded that, ultimately, good fortune is something we create for ourselves.

August

August

Tempest in a Teacup

Typhoons are not enough. For real thrills they need a warning system like Hong Kong's. In theory, the signals run from 1 to 10, but in practice the numbers are reduced to 1, then 3 and suddenly -- ha, ha -- 8. (Nine is reserved for when Hong Kong Island is finally snapped off the ocean floor and swept out to sea and 10 for when Kowloon follows it.) This means that Signal 1 is hoisted when a typhoon enters the hemisphere, Signal 3 when it's within a thousand miles, and Signal 8 when it appears at the door of your dim sum restaurant. At this point, you may as well crawl under the table and order the rice wine.

September

September

Wanna Bet?

Enough of us do that Hong Kong holds the world record for hope. On June 9th, 1996, enough people took that short walk to wager over US$236 million in a single day, an average of US$26 million per race. Ancient China may have had a wealth of words to describe the characteristics of horses, but today there are only three: win, place and show.

October

October

Temple Street Spirits

Some balmy evening, walk along Temple Street after dusk and follow your ears. Above the din of the night market you'll hear the distant cymbals and eerie wailings that will lead you to a spooky little park inhabited by dark figures sitting in the moonlight. Pluck up your courage and cross over to the other side. It's there that you'll find the outdoor Cantonese opera troupes that fill the air with their ghostly sounds. It has all the spirit of Halloween and it's yours almost any night of the year.

November

November

The Slippery Slope

Contrary to popular opinion, the MacLehose Trail does not separate the men from the boys. It beats the pulp out of both of them and then whips the women and the girls. The record for this 100-kilometre day-and-nightmare is 13 hours, 18 minutes and 3 pounds of Vaseline, although we're guessing on the jelly -- it could have been more. Before you hit the trail, we recommend a complete lube from top (armpits and nipples) to bottom (trust us). It's the only way you'll make running the MacLehose less of a rash decision than it already is.

December

December

A Christmas Wish

All we want for Christmas is the floor space listed on our rental contract. While we appreciate creativity as much as the next artist, it is disconcerting to actually measure our flat and find 30% of it missing. Our landlord explained that the figure includes "common areas," such as the hallway, a portion of the lift, a few square yards of air shaft, a huge swath of roof where the TV aerial lives and perhaps a bit of sidewalk, he'd have to check. So it's hardly surprising that a microwave is as large an oven as our Christmas turkey will ever see. As our landlord helped us stuff it in, we explained to the bird that it really includes a great deal of counter top, part of the pantry, some of the sink...

Back    Direct Marketing    How to Spa