While most of Hong Kong celebrates Dragon Boat Festival by watching races between the eponymous boats at various beaches across the city, Lantau village Tai O does things a little differently. For the inhabitants of the waterway-filled, coastal neighbourhood, Dragon Boat Festival is a time of spiritual observance.
The Tai O Dragon Boat Water Parade — or Tai O Deities Parade — takes place on the fifth day of the fifth month according to the Lunar calendar. Like the name suggests, the event is a pilgrimage of four deities — or, more accurately, their statues — around the village. The day before the festival, fisherman take their dragon boats to collect the statues from four temples within Tai O. The following day, the statues are placed on sacred sampans and ferried by the dragon boats around the waterways to drive away ghosts. Residents often burn paper offerings as the parade floats by.