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Hong Kong Cheung Chau Bun Festival

The Cheung Chau Bun Festival celebrates the disappearance of a plague that devastated the Hong Kong island in the late Shang dynasty.

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Video Transcript: Hong Kong Cheung Chau Bun Festival

Every year for a whole week, Cheung Chau lights up with festivities as everyone gathers for the Cheung Chau Bun Festival. But what is the Cheung Chau Bun Festival?

It all started with the plague that devastated Cheung Chau in the late Qing dynasty. But believing it to be the work of evil spirits, the islanders built an altar and paraded statues of their deities through the village to pray for protection. After performing the Taoist rituals, the plague miraculously left the island. And a 100 years later, the rituals are still being performed.

Today, the festival is a celebration that has two main events-- the Floating Colours Parade and the Bun Scrambling Competition. The Floating Colors Parade is a re-enactment of the one, that was held a century ago to drive away the plague. But instead of statues, children dress up as gods, or even celebrities, and are balanced on poles, while they are paraded down the street, accompanied by lion dancers and gongs.

And the highlight of the festival happens at nightfall. Participants of the Bun Scrambling Competition climb up a tower of buns, grabbing as many as possible. The higher the buns, the more the points.

If you're interested, you can get to Cheung Chau from the Central Pier 5. We hope to see you there.

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