It is not often you see a horse walking around Sai Kung but you will if downtown on the evening of 1 December. William — the horse if it is the same one as last year — will have a girl riding him acting as Mary and a boy walking at his side as Joseph. Behind them children all in white with white wings, white halos and white lanterns will be trailing. The Archangel Gabriel will be there too.
Scenes from a previous Nativity procession in Sai Kung
This will be the fourth procession in Sai Kung enacting the Bethlehem Nativity scene as in the Bible. The horse and the costumed children surprise Sai Kung people every December. First they gape, then when they realise what is happening they cheer, clap and call out “Merry Christmas”.
The procession begins about 7:30 pm at Sacred Heart Church. At a slow pace it wends its way down the hill to the Tin Hau Temple, then across the central square by the playground, over Man Nin Street through the gardens to the waterfront. Then William, if it is he, will lead the way back on the same route to the church. There a live crib scene will have been set up and parishioners and anyone who wants to join in can share mulled wine and food.
The horse gets exceptionally well look after. Usually the Jockey Club’s chief veterinary surgeon Dr Chris Riggs walks with him.
Organiser and Nam Shan resident Carla Basto Clark of the Ampleforth Centre for Theology and Spirituality said all children are welcome to join in wearing white costumes and bringing their own white wings, halos and lanterns.