Tens of thousands of people turned up for the annual Cheung Chau Bun Festival on Wednesday, undeterred by the hottest temperatures this year, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
The festival is held on the eighth day of the fourth month of the lunar calendar, or Buddha’s Birthday, a public holiday in Hong Kong.
Revelers were so enthusiastic they did not mind that it was the hottest day of the year, with temperatures reaching as high as 31.3 degrees celsius in downtown areas.
Besides coming to the island to watch various activities, such as parades and lion dances, most visitors made a special trip to watch the culmination of the Bun Scrambling Competition that did not begin until it close to midnight.
Contestants are required to race up the bun-covered bamboo towers to get hold of the buns as a sign of good fortune. They need to collect as many “lucky” buns as possible; the higher the buns, the more points they are worth.
Hong Kong Chief Executive-elect Carrie Lam was invited to be the main guest, according to Ming Pao Daily. She stayed less than 30 minutes and did not take questions from the public.
Adding a political air to the proceedings were parade participants dressed as Lam and Secretary for Education Eddie Ng.
Meanwhile, Apple Daily reporters said some of the local restaurants sold meat dishes but most followed the call from event organizers to serve only vegetarian food.
The owner of an eatery that sold fish balls said business jumped 30 percent from a year earlier, suggesting festival-goers did not really care about fasting.
New World First Ferry Services Ltd. said its ships on the Central-Cheung Chau route carried 48,000 people between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. Wednesday compared with 49,000 on the same day last year.
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