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One of the World’s Most Quirky Festivals: Hong Kong’s Ancient Cheung Chau Bun Festival

April 23, 2019 Visit North Asia No Comments Email Email

From the 9-13 May 2019, Hong Kong will celebrate the ancient Cheung Chau Bun Festival on the charming island of Cheung Chau.

Every year, the people of Cheung Chau get busy making papier-mâché effigies of deities, preparing costumes, steaming tens of thousands of ping on bao, aka ‘lucky buns’ and building a bamboo tower. They’re preparing for thousands of people to descend upon their tiny island to celebrate one of TIME Magazine’s “Top 10 Quirky Local Festivals”.

The story behind this ancient festival is that the villagers summoned Pak Tai, a powerful deity to parade through the streets, warding off evil spirits and protecting them from a devastating plague.

For more than a century, the villagers have celebrated the festival with the vibrant Piu Sik (Floating Colours) Parade, Chinese opera performances, lion dances, and delicious food. These rituals are still performed today keeping local customs alive.

“The Hong Kong Tourism Board is proud to support the culture and heritage that makes Hong Kong such a vibrant city” says Andrew Clark – Hong Kong Tourism Board’s Regional Director – Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific.

“The Cheung Chau Bun Festival is a celebration of ancient local customs. It’s an unforgettable experience that truly captures the colour and lively spirit of Hong Kong” says Mr. Clark.

Be sure to mark your calendar for the main event: On Sunday 12 May at 11:30pm, the mind-boggling Bun Scrambling Competition kicks off. Competitors scale a 14-metre-tall bamboo tower covered with 9,000 imitation buns and try to collect as many buns as possible in three minutes!

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