Hong Kong (AFP) – Superheroes Thor, Wonder Woman and Batman joined cheerleaders and lifeguards partying alongside anime character Pikachu — just a taste of the whimsical costumes on display at Hong Kong Stadium on Saturday.
Rugby enthusiasts crammed into the sold-out 40,000-seat stadium on the second day of the Hong Kong Sevens, warming up the South Stand on a chilly day by chanting, dancing and making merry at the city’s biggest annual sports event.
“We came here to support the Papua New Guinea team,” said one fan wearing a unicorn headdress and holding a beer.
“I’m happy to be here. It’s been a good experience, long week, lots of beer, and (meeting) some good friends. The people here are amazing,” said a South African called Andrew, sporting a hawaiian shirt and a straw hat.
Elsewhere in the stands, another reveller showed off a costume that made it look as if US President Donald Trump was giving him a piggyback.
Fans from around the world turned the decades-old event into a boozy carnival, with drunken party-goers vying to get on camera and the floor sticky with spilt drinks.
“Munich Beer Festival, Burning Man, Rio Carnival, Hong Kong Rugby Sevens — best parties in the world,” said a British spectator, dressed in a pilot’s uniform with sunglasses and a flower wreath.
By noon, the South Stand, which is famous for indulgence and hedonism, was declared full and a four-hour-long queue had formed to get in.
“We are just so excited for it and we don’t think it will take that long to get in. We can drink while waiting,” said Reanna from Australia as she stood in line, dressed as a blue mermaid.
Founded in 1976 during the British colonial era, the Hong Kong edition of rugby sevens is considered the premier tournament of the world series.
Around 120,000 spectators were expected to attend the three-day event in the southern Chinese city, with over half from overseas.