Vampires, ghost bride train for festival

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 August, 2014, 4:29am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 August, 2014, 4:29am

Days before the Hungry Ghost Festival, unusual photographs have surfaced of traditional Chinese folklore characters hanging around at MTR stations.

On Sunday, a group of young actors were pictured at Lai Chi Kok station dressed as geong si, or Chinese vampires. Also on the weekend, pictures were uploaded online of a "ghost bride" with a powdered white face and gold headdress, sitting alone on a platform at Central station.

The "vampires" in Lai Chi Kok stayed on the train platform until the station closed at 1am, said station duty controller Tommy Ko Lup-kun. "This hasn't happened before," Ko said, adding that he was unsure if the zombies would return.

An image uploaded online showed the "vampires" standing in single file, arms outstretched, bearing fangs and with dark make-up around their eyes. They were decked out in the traditional black and blue robes of Qing dynasty government officials.

The man leading the group wore black and yellow robes resembling those of a priest.

Ko said he did not know the actors' motives but added that there were no complaints from passengers as services had continued as normal.

Online responses to the "ghost bride" in Central have ranged from those pointing out "it's not the Ghost Festival yet" to those accusing the woman of being desperate for attention.

The festival is typically observed in Hong Kong on the 14th day of the seventh lunar month, which this year falls on Sunday.

This is not the first time the MTR has served as a public stage. In May, photos went viral of a man pitching a hammock across the compartment of a late-night train, prompting passengers to call on staff to intervene.