Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hong Kong: Chung Yeung festival

Tomorrow, Friday (19 October 2007) is Chung Yeung festival. Hereabouts, it's traditionally the day for sweeping clean the graves of one's ancestors.

Chung Yeung is a public holiday.

This is also one of those festivals where people burn incense sticks, candles and whatever in hillside cemeteries. And since we are well into the dry season, this is also the time when hillsides catch fire.

The hill fires happen every year during this festival. It is really sad to see a necklace of flame advancing across a hillside and leaving in its wake incinerated trees, bushes and grassland. Such needless destruction.

Lo and behold, the colonial legacy lives on with a Task Force on Hill Fires. As per usual:
Fire Services Department will be on full alert from October 19 to 21. It will deploy additional manpower and fire appliances to deal with possible hillfires. Fire officers will step up their patrol on hillfire blackspots during the period.

Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department will set up a special enforcement team to perform advisory and law enforcement work. It will deploy its fire crews to patrol country park areas and stand by for firefighting.

Government Flying Services will deploy additional crews to stand by for firefighting and airlifting firefighters.

Civil Aid Service will deploy 230 voluntary officers to patrol country parks and provide firefighting assistance.

Auxiliary Medical Service will deploy 150 members to cemeteries and provide first-aid assistance during the period.

The Police will deploy more officers for traffic and crowd control duties at cemeteries during the Chung Yeung Festival.
Source: press release

Anyway, fingers crossed that not too much goes up in smoke.

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