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60000 people are expected in Cheung Chau for Bun Festival, Thursday April 23, 2009 Hong Kong
Apr 22 2009, 09:16 PM
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60000 people are expected in Cheung Chau for Bun Festival
translated by cici@AsianEU
This year's bun snatching competition has switched to using improved version of imitated buns, Tang Man-wah(third from right) said people with admission tickets can exchange a bun for a souvenir.
This year, Cheung Chau Bun Festival falls on the long weekend holidays, hence police expects the festival will attract nearly 60,000 people with the event starting on the 1st of next month for three days, and 360 police officers will be deployed to maintain order. In Bun Festival, bun-snatching is the main competition and this year an improved version of the imitated buns will be adopted for the bun-snatching competition to facilitate a speedy competition for athletes. Cheung Chau Bun Festival Council says people are getting lax on vegetarian diet during the festival. Last year, restaurants even sold non-vegetarian diet, therefore Council calls for fast food establishments on the island to strictly adhere to the rule of vegetarian diet during the Festival.
Lo Tung-Wah, Acting Police of Divisional Commander of Cheung Chau estimates that together with 3 days holidays of "51" Labor Day, there would be 50000 to 60000 visitors to Cheung Chau. The number of visitors would be 5,000 more than last year's 40000 people, to which bungalows and hotels vacancy on the island have already been full. And on the 2nd of next month, visitor will reach its peak flow and is expected nearly 20,000 people will come to the island. Police will deploy 360 mobile forces to maintain order, the Government Flying Service and Civil Aid Service will simutaneously be present to maintain order.
Snatching-bun Competition is the main display of Bun Festival. This week, a competition to select athletes will be conducted, and the first 12 players leading in the competition can enter into final. Leisure and Cultural Services Department says they will reserve 1500 seats for tourists to view the snatching-bun competition, and 80 standing space is also reserved outside of the arena. Admission tickets will be distributed at the Firefighter Department next month on the 2nd, and people can enter through Pak Tai Temple at 10:30am to watch the competition. The competition will commence at 11:30, and is expected to end at midnight 1:40.
This year, there are 9000 imitated buns for athletes to use. In order to facilitate the athletes to grab more, improved version of imitated buns will be introduced in particular for the competition. Tang Man-wah, LCSD's Chief Leisure Manager (New Territories West) says the result of using imitated buns in the past years is successful, but some people complain the buns material to be hard and buns' size to be small, so this year they will use softer material for the imitation buns. In the past, up to 70 to 80 old buns can be placed in a bag, if the improved version is used, capacity can increase 10 percent, accomodating for 80 to 90. She adds that people can go to Cheung Chau Sports Center or Central Office with their admission tickets to exchange for a imitated bun for souvenir. On the other hand, Authentic "Safety Bun" will be distributed at 9:00 am on May 3 in Pak Tai Temple Square. EAch person can receive 4 to 6 buns, and 20,000 buns is expected to be distributed. President of Cheung Chau Bun Festival Council, Yong Chi-ming says people seem to have ignored the traditional value of vegetarian diet because last year some restaurants sold non-vegetariann diet. After a warning was issued from the Council, the restaurants did stop selling, but he still calls on restaurants to observe meat fasting.
Due to scaffolding workers injury last year, The Labor Department demands actors from "color float" to buy insurance this year. Earlier, the press reports purchasing insurance has affected Bun building projects. In response to this insurance issue, Yong Chi-ming says everyone has bought insurance, and has received letters from the solicitor on the accident, but so far no injured scaffolding workers has asked for compensation. However, he admits that the project has been slightly affected because they have to take into account of security, but the stent structure is in progress and is expected to be completed by next Monday or Tuesday.
At 1:15am on May 3, Transport Department will add one more line from Cheung Chau to Central, people can take ferry back to urban areas. The bus companies will be providing additional buses to and from Central Pier to Mong Kok, Siu Sai Wan, Sha Tin and Shun Lee Tsuen as well.
This post has been edited by cici: Apr 22 2009, 09:19 PM
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