Source: Xinhua

05-06-2009 16:27

An annual bun festival parade in Hong Kong concluded early Sunday, attracting about 60,000 residents and visitors to an outlying island in spite of the threat of the influenza A/H1N1 over the recent days.

Twelve finalists climbed the 14-meter-tall bun tower and had three minutes to snatch as many buns for the highest scores. Divided into three zones, the tower was studded with buns, from the top to the bottom, representing nine, three and one marks.

"Bun Mountains" at Hong Kong's Annual Bun Festival [File photo:]
"Bun Mountains" at Hong Kong's Annual Bun Festival [File photo:]

The bun scrambling competition ended in the early morning at a soccer pitch on the Cheung Chau Island, with the championship going to Ho Sin-fai, a 20-year-old young man who scored 1,038 marks. Choi Kwok-tung, the first runner-up scored 822 marks.

Legend has it that the annual event honoring the Taoist god of sea Pak Tai has its origin in exorcising ceremonies to fight plagues. It has now evolved into one of the attractions, with teams of competitors from even neighboring mainland cities this year.

Huge crowds gathered in the morning at the Central pier on the Hong Kong island, where the ferries departed for the outlying island of Cheung Chau. Operators had to arrange for additional boats to ferry the visitors.

The weather was fine. A few of the visitors were wearing masks but there was obviously no signs of panicking, as authorities were busy tracking down those who may have been in contact with a Mexican man who tested positive for the influenza A/H1N1 virus, including friends, taxi drivers, passengers and hotel guests.

The bun sellers, for sure, benefited from record crowd, as visitors bought steamed buns from local bakeries as well as souvenirs in the shape of buns.

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