‘Bun Festival’ brings 50,000 people to tiny Hong Kong island

The parade is a major part of the annual Bun Festival held on Cheung Chau. Source: Wikimedia Commons

A DOZEN climbers in Hong Kong scrambled up a 60-ft (18m) tower covered with plastic buns in an annual contest won by the first man and woman to reach the top with the most buns plucked off the column in their ascent.

Nearly 50,000 people flocked to the tiny island of Cheng Chau on Wednesday, the final day of a week-long Bun Festival, where they watched a “floating colours” parade that featured traditional music and lion dancing.

SEE ALSO: A visit to Cheung Chau island in Hong Kong harbor

“I was actually quite relaxed,” men’s champion Kwok Ka-ming said.

“If you’re calm, then I find I perform better. If I’m worried about not winning, then I find I don’t do so well.”


The fastest man and woman to reach the top of these plastic “bun towers” win the race. Source: Flickr/ 三座大包山

Children dressed as gods and politicians such as chief executive-elect Carrie Lam were wheeled around on pedestals as if they were floating above the crowd.

The festival, which coincides with the birthday of Buddha, commemorates the sea deity Pak Tai, who is credited with stopping a plague on the island.

Buns sold during the festival are filled with sweet paste made of ingredients such as lotus seed, sesame and red bean, and stamped with Chinese characters that symbolise peace, health and prosperity. – Reuters