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Drones to animate Hong Kong’s sky with images of giant bun towers, dancing lions, temples on Buddha’s Birthday, Cheung Chau Bun Festival

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Images of bun towers, dancing lions, flower boards and temples will light up Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour this weekend to celebrate Buddha’s Birthday and the Cheung Chau Bun Festival, as authorities host their second waterfront show aimed at attracting visitors.

The city’s Tourism Board said on Tuesday it would offer free ice cream to the public between 6pm and 8pm at Wan Chai pier as part of the celebrations.

A drone show with a festive theme is set to take place at 8pm on Saturday, the board said. A thousand drones will create images, such as a colourful flower board with waving flags and a 60-metre-tall bun tower.

A bun-scrambling competition is expected to be held ahead of May 16. Photo: Dickson Lee

Both are important images in the annual week-long Cheung Chau Bun Festival, which takes place on the namesake outlying island to honour Pak Tai, a Taoist god of the sea.

The festival traditionally features three towering columns of bamboo lined with auspicious steamed buns with Chinese characters for “peace”. A bun-scrambling competition is expected to be held ahead of May 16, the final day of the festival.

The drones will also create images of dancing lions and temples to mark Buddha’s Birthday on May 15.

The show will take place along the Wan Chai Harbourfront, but will not be visible from the Kowloon side.

The Cheung Chau Bun Festival traditionally features three towering columns of bamboo lined with auspicious steamed buns. Photo: Dickson Lee

Saturday’s drone display marks the second regular waterfront light show announced by the government.

In February, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po confirmed the city would be staging fireworks and drone shows about once a month in tandem with holidays or other major events, to diversify Hong Kong’s tourism offerings. Each show is estimated to cost around HK$1 million (US$128,000).

The first pyrotechnic show managed to take place on May 1 to mark the “golden week” holidays, despite earlier uncertainties due to unstable weather. However, some spectators, including mainland Chinese tourists, reported feeling underwhelmed by the show.’

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