For more than a century (a very long time by Hong Kong standards!), the islanders of Cheung Chau have been honoring the god Pak Tai with an annual commemorative event that has come to popularly known as the Cheung Chau Bun Festival on account of one of its major activities involving a "bun snatching" competition whose contestants vied to remove as many buns as they could off giant bun-covered bamboo towers.
Visiting Cheung Chau last year on the weekend before the festival was due to take place, I not only got a good taste of what was to come a few days later but, also, a concrete idea of how communal at the core at this event which has become a major one on the Hong Kong tourism calendar still really is. Put another way: I saw many local folks hard at work preparing for the island's big day by doing such as baking the famous Cheung Chau buns in different ovens in various parts of the island, stringing the buns together (while being watched over by large, already standing paper-mache effigies of deities) and fixing the buns on to the bun towers.
Apart from the multitude of buns (on the bun tower or not), another novel aspect of the Cheung Chau Bun Festival is its parade of "floating" children where a number of preteen children appear to be performing impossible feats of balance -- and I was lucky enough that day to also see what amounted to a couple of practice rehearsals of that event.
And for those who haven't quite figured out what I'm referring to, check out at the second photo in this Photo Hunt entry (and click on it to enlarge if necessary!). In particular, look at the child casually standing on the red table top and appearing to hold with her right hand a bunch of objects and, right at the top, another child balancing onto the whole affair on just one leg!
So... how did they do it? Well... if enough people request for it to be so, I'll post a couple of other photos tomorrow* that will show the clever idea behind the "magic". (Alternatively, I'll take silence on this matter to mean that people would prefer to not have the magic be lost by finding out how this "feat" gets enacted! :b )
Update: Since yesterday's "tomorrow" is now here, you can go here to see the inventive idea behind the magic. :)