Cheung Chau Bun Festival, a week-long Hong Kong traditional festival that features on a large, colorful street procession and a race of the bun towers climbing competition, attracted about 24,000 visitors by Friday afternoon.
Photo taken on May 6, 2006 showing the bun tower climbing competition. Photo source: CRI Online
The festival is one of the major item of Hong Kong Tourism Board's (HKTB) newly launched Culture and Heritage Celebration program, which is aimed at attracting one million overseas tourists.
The HKTB has invested about 9 million HK dollars (US$1.16 million) in the project.
As Friday is a public holiday in Hong Kong, many citizens and tourists took ferry boats to the Cheung Chau Island early in the morning.
The festival was originally launched for preying for peace and good luck, as well as driving away evil spirit of the plague.
Enormous bamboo towers studded with white Chinese bun and effigies of three gods dominated the ground near the Pak Tai Temple, where the main festivities take place.
The large street procession for good luck preying started Friday afternoon, featuring costumed children on stilts in a carnival atmosphere that wound its way through the streets.
Apart from the lion and dragon dances, children disguised themselves in different roles and their parents held them on the shoulders during the parade.
The climax of the festival would be the bun tower climbing competition, which is scheduled to start at Friday's midnight.
Organized by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, the Culture and Heritage Celebration is one of the highlights of Discover Hong Kong Year. It showcases four traditional festivals including birthdays of deities Tin Hau the Lord Buddha and Tam Kung, and Cheung Chau Bun Festival and promotes local celebration activities.
Over 30 ferry boats were added for taking visitors to the Chaung Chau Island in the daytime.