It is really difficult for anyone to get through the Tin Sum village during the Earth God Festival. The streets nearby are full of lions and drums. Earplugs, good idea. Earth God, or Lord of the Soil and Ground Festival is celebrated once a year. It seems that all lions in Hong Kong arrived.
This event is very very loud, it takes several hours to be able to hear again. Lion dance together with their schools march through the street to a football field, just big enough to take in all the people. It is very easy to get lost here. Well, unless you are a foreigner. You are probably the only foreigner there, to be honest.
After lions bow to each other and welcome each other, schools light the insence sticks and find their table. It is a plastic table with plastic stools, like a garden furniture. The only food here is a big bowl on each table filled in with meat, heated by a heater underneath. There is also some rice. But the food is not the purposed of this event.
The main part is the meeting, gathering of friends, masters, lion dance and kung fu schools. Going around the tables and toast with a beer is a custom, that even I, a foreigner is more than welcome to do so. This time I took two of my friends with me.
"You know these people?" they ask after we rise on their feet the whole bunch of people sitting at one table, shouting cheers in Cantonese. Some tables I know, some I never saw before. But it does not make any difference now.
Here everyone is connected. And this is such a special celebration in Hong Kong, far away from the city and even including crackers (otherwise not allowed in Hong Kong), that you indeed sure have some connection with these people to be able to know about it and be here.
I have been practicing martial arts since 1999. It became the reason for moving to Hong Kong and it guided many of my life decisions. However, I am no expert. Take the further blog posts as sharing of an enthusiast.