BLOG – Photos & Video from HK’s 2014 Cheung Chau Bun Festival


The annual Cheung Chau Bun Festival was held earlier this month between May 3rd and 7th.

Cheung Chau bun festival, Hong Kong

It involves bun towers, lion dances, parades, and the bun scrambling contest.

Cheung Chau bun festival, Hong Kong

Today’s photos are courtesy of photographer Rodolfo Contreras. Check out his Deconstructing Hong Kong Facebook page here, or view his portfolio here

Cheung Chau bun festival, Hong Kong

It is the most famous of the Da Jiu festivals, with Jiu (醮) being a Taoist sacrificial ceremony. They are usually held in rural communities at a set time.

Cheung Chau bun festival, Hong Kong

The celebrations draw tens of thousands of local and overseas tourists every year.

Cheung Chau bun festival, Hong Kong

It is staged to mark the Eighth day of the Fourth Moon, coinciding with Buddha’s Birthday.

Cheung Chau bun festival, Hong Kong

In the 18th century, it is said that Cheung Chau was devastated by a plague and infiltrated by pirates.

Cheung Chau bun festival, Hong Kong

Fishermen bought an image of the God Pak Tai to the island, parading it around village lanes to drive away evil spirits.

Cheung Chau bun festival, Hong Kong

Throughout a weeklong thanksgiving, the island goes vegetarian – including McDonald’s, which serves mushroom burgers instead of meat.

Cheung Chau bun festival, Hong Kong

Children dress as modern and legendary heroes and are suspended above the crowds on the tips of swords and fans.

Cheung Chau bun festival, Hong Kong

Many of the local schools, martial art organisations and businesses participate in the parades.

Cheung Chau bun festival, Hong Kong

The children are secured within steel frames though appear to float in the air. Parents consider it a great honour for their children to be part of the parade.

Cheung Chau bun festival, Hong Kong

At Pak Tai Temple, giant 60-ft towers covered with buns are erected. Young men race up the towers to ‘snatch’ buns, though between 1979 and 2005, the race was suspended following a collapse which injured more than 100 people.

Cheung Chau bun festival, Hong Kong

Today’s towers are made from plastic.

Bun Festival, Cheung Chau Hong Kong

Bun Festival, Cheung Chau Hong Kong

Bun Festival, Cheung Chau Hong Kong

Bun Festival, Cheung Chau Hong Kong

Bun Festival, Cheung Chau Hong Kong

Bun Festival, Cheung Chau Hong Kong

Bun Festival, Cheung Chau Hong Kong

Bun Festival, Cheung Chau Hong Kong

Bun Festival, Cheung Chau Hong Kong

Bun Festival, Cheung Chau Hong Kong

Video via Coconuts HK:

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