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Hong Kong Holidays/ Festivals 2014
The first day of January 1 Jan
Chinese New Year of the Horse 31 Jan
The second day of the Chinese Lunar New Year,

Che Kung's Birthday

1 Feb
The third day of the Lunar New Year 2 Feb
The day following third day of Chinese New Year 3 Feb
Spring Lantern Festival / Yuen Siu 14 Feb
Chinese Groundhog Day 6 Mar
Ching Ming Festival 5 Apr
Good Friday 18 Apr
The day following Good Friday 19 Apr
Easter Monday 21 Apr
Birthday of Tin Hau 22 Apr
Labour day 1 May
Buddha’s Birthday and Cheung Chau Bun Festival (also Tam Kung's Birthday) 6 May
Tuen Ng /  Dragon Boat Festival 2 Jun
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day 1 July
Kwan Tai / Kwan Gon's Birthday 20 Jul
Seventh Goddess' Day / Tsat-je 2 Aug
Chinese Ghosts Festival / Yue Lan 9 Aug
Confucius' Birthday/Teacher's Day 20 Sep
Chinese National Day 1 Oct
Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival / Moon Festival 8 Sep
Day after Mid-Autumn Festival

Monkey King Festival

9 Sep
Chung Yeung Festival 2 Oct
Winter Solstice 22 Dec
Christmas Day 25 Dec
Boxing Day 26 Dec


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Home > Festivals > Cheung Chau Bun festival

Cheung Chau Bun Festival

Photos of the Festival and Bun Tower Climbing Competition:



Slide ShowSlide show of Bun Festival

The Bun Festival is local to the island of Cheung Chau only.  Pak Tai, the Taoist God of the Sea is worshipped and evil spirits are scared away by loud gongs and drums during the procession.

The celebration includes Taoist praying, opera performances and ends with processions performed by children dressed in colorful costumes. 

Bun towers are built with bamboo structures 60 foot high, piled with sweet buns, outside the Pak Tai temple.  Since these buns are blessed, in the old days, people climbed up the bun towers and compete for buns at midnight on the first day of the festival.  It was supposed to appease the spirits of the people who died in a 19th century plague on the island.  Unfortunately, accident happened in 1978.  The bun towers collapsed under the weight of too many climbers and more than 100 people were injured.  Since then, there is no more competition.  Buns are distributed to the believers after the ceremony.  You can also buy these buns from local bakers.

The whole island will go vegetarian three days before the procession.  You won't find any meat and eggs in restaurants (not even MacDonald!  In fact the Vegen-burger is not bad, they should considered including this in their regular menu.)  Butchers simply have a few days' rest.  Most restaurants sell vegetarian dishes and some simply close.  Non-believers have to buy meat from Hong Kong island on those few days!  However, when the procession is finished, everything goes back to normal.  In fact, believers will rush to roasted meat shops and buy roasted pigs or meat alike to worship their gods right after the procession. (see picture)

The procession is the best part of the festival. Different local communities arrange their own floats.  Children are put onto a tiny seat attached to steel rods so that they look as though they are floating or standing high up on top of a pole.  Colourful costumes help to cover up the seat.  However, it's still hard work for 5-year-olds under the hot 28C afternoon sun in May.  The procession is carried out on the Buddhist birthday (public holiday) so that everybody can enjoy the festival.  Before that, Cheung Chau schools simply closed on the procession days because the children were either participating in the procession or escaping from school so that they can watch!


Other links about Cheung Chau Bun Festival:

http://www.cheungchau.org/ - with lots of pictures and video clips

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