After a long day of being very touristy, I naturally came home and used my foam roller. It's a nice substitute for a massage. Just kidding. It absolutely does not feel like a massage. I'm trying to foam roll everyday though. It's good for my muscles.
Let me back up to this morning. I joined an AWA heritage festival tour, aka Tin Hau's Very Chinese Birthday Party. We traveled by private junk from Aberdeen pier - to the fishermen’s village of Po Toi Island to observe the birthday festivities for the Goddess of the Sea, Tin Hau.
You may remember Tin Hau from Shenzhen (where we used to live). I ran by her many times on what I called my Mermaid Run.
Back to today. After cruising on the boat for about an hour, we anchored among many fishing boats and other kinds of vessels decorated with colorful flags. In other parts of Hong Kong, the festival includes a parade with lots of drumming and lion/dragon dances. In Po Toi, this happens on the boats.
We went on land to explore the Opera Theatre, which was built on a cliff right in front of the temple and then watched a performance by the Cantonese Opera Club.
Worshiping groups from different villages returned the temple's huge Fa Pau’s which are beautiful towers adorned with paper floral tributes and are unique during the Tin Hau Festival to honor the Goddess of the Sea.
Later they engaged in a scrambling game competing for another Fa Pau which would guarantee the winner good fortune for the year. This tradition is very rare to see as it is banned from most Hong Kong festivals nowadays. Basically a little tube with a number inside is launched from the platform. The number corresponds to one of the Fa Pau and some are more sought after than others.
Professional Chinese photographer Kwok-Leung Paul Lau provided insight in understanding the historical background of this yearly local tradition. He was our awesome guide.
It was a most beautiful day to learn more about Hong Kong culture.
Do you foam roll?
Do you like boats?
Ever been to a culture festival in a country other than your own?