Flu doesn't stop bun fun | Shanghai Daily

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Flu doesn't stop bun fun

AN annual bun festival in Hong Kong concluded early yesterday, attracting about 60,000 residents and visitors to an outlying island, in spite of concerns about the A-H1N1 influenza that have increased in recent days.

Twelve finalists climbed a 14-meter bun tower and had three minutes to snatch as many buns as they could. Divided into three zones, the tower was studded with buns, from the top to the bottom. Buns were worth from one point to nine, depending upon where they were positioned.

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

Legend has it that the annual event honoring the Taoist god of the sea, Pak Tai, has its origin in exorcising ceremonies to fight plagues.

It has evolved into an annual attraction, with teams of competitors even coming from 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 island of Cheung Chau. Operators had to arrange for additional boats to ferry the visitors.

The weather was fine for the event. A few of the visitors were wearing masks to help avoid infection, but there were no signs of panic.

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







 

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