Special traffic arrangements are in force today to cope with crowds of people expected to spend the public holiday taking part in three of the city?s most popular festivals.

As well as being Buddha?s birthday, today sees the celebration of the Cheung Chau Bun Festival and the birthday of Tam Kung, a patron saint of the sea.

Organisers of the bun festival expect 40,000 visitors today. Ferries will leave Central every 30 minutes. An extra boat back to town after the midnight bun scramble will leave Cheung Chau at 1.15am.

Additional bus services will be arranged to take passengers from the Central ferry pier to Mongkok and other parts of Hong Kong.

Roads near the Tam Kung Temple in Shau Kei Wan will be closed for the Tam Kung Festival, expected to attract about 40,000 visitors


Birthday of Tam Kung

Tam Kung is a patron saint of the sea and fishermen believe he brings them safety and good luck.

Main attraction: Lion and dragon dances, featuring a 146-metre golden dragon driven by 150 people, outside Shau Kei Wan?s Tam Kung Temple. Six sets of floats will parade around the area, where a child will be dressed as Tam Kung for the first time in 40 years.

Time: 10am-2pm.

Cheung Chau Bun Festival

A century-old festival to pray for peace and safety for islanders. The buns are said to bring people health and good luck. Buns from the bun towers will be distributed to the public at 9am tomorrow.

Main attractions:

10.30am: Kung fu performances at Pak Tai Temple Plaza.

11.30am: Unicorn dance performances.

2pm-4pm: Bun festival parade featuring floats of children dressed as historical and present-day characters. A second parade will take place tomorrow afternoon.

Midnight: Bun-scrambling competition at Pak Tai Temple Plaza football court.

Buddha?s birthday

Po Lin Monastery, Lantau

9am-4.30pm: Buddha-bathing ritual. 11.15am-noon and 1.45pm-3pm: Variety show, including Shaolin kung fu performance.

Convention and Exhibition Centre 2.30pm: Buddha-bathing ritual organised by the Hong Kong Buddhist Association.

Victoria Park

3.30pm: Buddhist Birthday Carnival featuring celebrities practising Buddhism.