A vigil marking the 26th anniversary of the massacre at Tiananmen Square -- expected to draw crowds of more than 100,000 -- is taking place in Hong Kong's Victoria Park on Thursday. The event honors the hundreds of pro-democracy protesters who died after Chinese Communist authorities sent tanks to the peaceful 1989 protest in the Beijing square.

The crowd lights candles and carries out somber events to “build a democratic China” and to honor those who died -- largely students -- in the 1989 protest, the Financial Times reported. Hong Kong is the only area in China that is allowed to openly commemorate the events. The gathering has been a tradition since the massacre occurred. A live stream of the 2015 vigil, featuring numerous speakers and views of the sweeping crowds, can be found here.  

Most of China is silent on June 4, the anniversary of the massacre. Posts on social media related to that date are regularly deleted and Chinese authorities reportedly work to make sure any other critical comments about the massacre are stamped out. Even disguised references in posts to the massacres, like May 35 or even the number 64, are located and deleted, according to an International Business Times report

While large crowds are certainly expected in Victoria Park, there has been pushback concerning the vigil from some in Hong Kong as well. Some students in Hong Kong have begun to express that the area owes nothing to China as a whole. They believe, "Hong Kong people are only responsible for democracy in Hong Kong," the Financial Times reported. Student groups that usually attend the events -- most prominently the Hong Kong Federation of Students -- decided to opt out this year, Time reported.


Last year, activists -- many of whom were students -- occupied the streets of Hong Kong, advocating the city's right to elect its own leader. Those protests were cleared peacefully.