Catholics who took part in a march to mark Palm Sunday in Wan Chai said they were puzzled by the requirements set by police – including compulsory red ribbons on their arms.
Participants were told that it would be mandatory to carry a palm branch – a traditional feature of the Catholic feast, which takes place on the last Sunday before Easter – and were also instructed to don the ribbons.
In line with other recent events, masks were forbidden at the march organised by Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.
One of the marchers said the ribbons had not been featured in the past.
"It's a religious event, I think it doesn't need to be so complicated," the woman said. "We're just marching a one-minute route."
She added those who are used to wearing masks may feel uncomfortable about the no-masks rule. Police had said the rule was in place to ensure participants did not use facial coverings to avoid being identified.
However some participants said they were pleased to finally be able to join the march, which had not taken place during the pandemic. They were also happy to have their masks off, which they said would allow them to breathe more easily.
A number of participants were seen wearing masks during the march.
In a letter giving the green light to the march, police told organisers that participants were required to comply with Hong Kong laws, including the national security legislation.
The same instruction was given to organisers of nine other public events that were scheduled to take place on Sunday, including an Easter parade organised by the Harbourfront Commission.
Last updated: 2023-04-02 HKT 13:06