Ready, steady, dough! Annual Cheung Chau bun scramble delivers parade to chew over
Shirley Zhao and Johnny Tam
The annual Cheung Chau bun scramble kicked off at midnight last night, and for the sixth time fireman and islander Jason Kwok Ka-ming emerged the victor in the contest, which involves climbing up a 40-metre-tall tower of buns and bagging as many as possible.
A familiar face also won the women's contest: Wong Ka-yan, champion in 2010 and last year.
It's not all about the buns - the Cheung Chau festival earlier stuck to its tradition of serving up a good helping of political satire.
Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor was mocked for her comments on political reform; Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah took stick for being a tightwad; and Housing and Transport Secretary Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung was berated for rising ferry fares - probably a welcome respite from his MTR woes.
They were featured in the magical Piu Silk Parade, where children in lavish costumes appear to float in mid-air.
This year saw a small version of Carrie Lam floating past the crowds of onlookers with a hammer and the Basic Law under her feet - a reference to her use of the Chinese idiom "setting the tone of the gong with one final hit" in asserting mainland officials had given the final word on electoral reform.
A boy playing Tsang was on a float designed around the theme of popular Korean drama My Love from the Star, in which an alien with supernatural powers falls for an arrogant superstar.
It depicted Tsang as an alien who did not know about the difficulties of ordinary people.
Cheung, under fire over delays to the cross-border high-speed rail project, was singled out over a matter closer to islanders' hearts - ferry fare increases of up to 6 per cent due to take effect in the next few months.
As of 9pm yesterday, visitors had made about 52,400 trips between Central and Cheung Chau, according to ferry operator New World First Ferry Services - a 15 per cent drop on last year.
"Visitors left after the parade as it kept raining," Ms Lam complained.
Meanwhile, thousands of people attended a carnival in Victoria Park in celebration of Buddha's birthday.
And in Shau Kei Wan, Tam Kung, a god of the sea, was also celebrating his birthday. Residents marked the occasion with lion dancing and another Piu Sik parade.