Fri, May 05, 2017 - Page 5 News List

HK festival ends in race up tower of buns

Reuters, HONG KONG

Competitors take part in a scramble up an 18m tower made of plastic buns shortly after midnight yesterday during the annual Cheung Chau Bun Festival in Hong Kong.

Photo: AFP

A dozen climbers in Hong Kong scrambled up a 18m tower covered with plastic buns in an annual contest won by the first man and woman to reach the top with the most buns plucked off the column in their ascent.

Nearly 50,000 people flocked to the tiny island of Cheng Chau on Wednesday, the final day of a week-long bun festival, where they watched a “floating colors” parade that featured traditional music and lion dancing.

“I was actually quite relaxed,” men’s champion Kwok Ka-ming said. “If you’re calm, then I find that I perform better. If I’m worried about not winning, then I find that I don’t do so well.”

Children dressed as gods and politicians such as Hong Kong chief-executive elect Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥) were wheeled around on pedestals as if they were floating above the crowd.

The festival, which coincides with the birthday of Buddha, commemorates the sea deity Pak Tai (Heidi, 黑帝), who is credited with stopping a plague on the island.

Buns sold during the festival are filled with sweet paste made of ingredients such as lotus seed, sesame and red bean, and stamped with Chinese characters for peace, health and prosperity.

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