"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page"
-St Augustine

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

The Birthday of Buddha and the Bun Festival

Today Hong Kong is on holiday today - a 'Public Bank Holiday' for the birthday of Buddha.  More than 20,000 local Hong Kongese and oversea visitors go to Cheung Chau Island to celebrates the Bun Festival. 

The Bun Festival started almost 200 years ago, as a  traditional ritual to drive away evil spirits and plaque on the Island.  Young children, costumed and posting as deities, are being carried to parade along the narrow streets of Cheung Chau.  Recently, there are children dressed like political/social leaders to retell stories which are talks of the town.  There are of course, lion dance, drum dance, music and sound to create a convivial ambience all over the island.

The other interesting feature about the festival the steamed bun, which gives the festival its name.  Tens of thousands of buns are made, and sold on this day alone.  The word 平安, literally meaning 'peace on earth' is stamped on the buns and it is believed that it will bring blessing and prosperity to those who consume them.

Highlights of the event is a Bun Competition.  Mountains of buns are erected outside the Pak Ti Temple and athletes gather to climb up to pick the buns, and those who collect the most are the winners.

It's one of the local traditions in Hong Kong and the festival become even more popular in the past years.  Not only overseas visitors enjoy the festival, the locals are also taking part in it, and a lot even participate as volunteers.

Cheung Chau is one of the favourite stop for our overseas visitors.  It is only 30 min by ferry from the Hong Kong Island.  The fishing boats, local temples and markets and narrow streets are worlds away from the city.  The beautiful shorelines, sandy beaches and tranquil atmosphere (no vehicles are allowed on the island) make it a great day out.

Momentous Asia Travel & Events

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