"This is the 'Red Light, Green Light' version we play in Hong Kong." -Andy Li


(From Google Translate)

1,2,3, Hónglǜdēng,
guò mǎlù, yào xiǎoxīn

Game Instructions

"Red Light, Green Light" is played with a group of children. These are the basic instructions.

The group stands on one end of the playing area, at the starting line. The person who is "It" stands at the other end, at the finish line.

The person who's "It" faces the finish line, with his back to the group. He says, "One two three, traffic light, cross the road, be careful" (in Cantonese). Then he quickly turns around to face the group.

When he is facing away from the group, the people in the group run towards the finish line. Meanwhile, as soon as the one who's "It" finishes saying, "One two three, traffic light, cross the road, be careful". He quickly turns around to face the group. The group must freeze. Anyone who is caught moving has to go back to the starting line.

The game continues like this until someone reaches the finish line. That person wins. That person is "It" in the next round.


"This does sound familiar. It's a rhyme. 燈 and 心 rhyme. And yes, the translation is very accurate. Individually, 紅 means red, 綠 means green, and 燈 means light. So, one might argue that it should translate to 'One, two, three. Red green light'. However, together, 紅綠燈 means traffic light. That's why I think that Google's translation is accurate." -Ray Lee

Please let us know if you think this video has been taken down by YouTube.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Thanks to Andy Li for sharing this version of "Red Light, Green Light"! Thanks to Ray Lee for checking the translation!