The scorching weather did not stop tens of thousands of people to visit Cheung Chau on Tuesday for the annual grand parade of floats depicting traditional deities and the bun scramble.
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.
New World First Ferry Services said it ferried about 17,000 passengers to Cheung Chau from Central between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports. About 10,000 went the opposite route during the day.
This year’s volume of passengers was about 20 percent smaller than last year, the company said.
The temperature rose to as high as 34.8 degrees Celsius at around 2 p.m., making it the hottest Buddha’s Birthday holiday since records began in 1947, according to data from the Hong Kong Observatory.
The previous record for the day was set in 2011, when the temperature was 32.9 degrees.
The festival’s grand finale, the bun scrambling competition, was held at midnight, with two categories: individual and invitation relay. Twelve finalists fought for top honors in the individual event.
Kwok Ka-ming defended his crown, becoming the champion for the eighth consecutive year, while in the women’s group, Wong Ka-yan lost her titled to Wu Wing-yu.
Aside from watching the parade, which featured children dressed up as government officials, politicians and celebrities, people also went to the festival to sample the local buns, which included traditional ones and those depicting the iconic Sanrio cartoons.
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