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Hong Kong celebrates Bun Festival

05-16-2011 09:19 BJT

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Tens of thousands of people flocked to a tiny picturesque fishing village in Hong Kong for the annual "Bun Festival".

Huge crowds converged on Cheung Chau hoping to sample the event's all-important sweet buns that are said to give good luck to the island's fishermen.

The highlight of the festival involves contestants scrambling to climb a tower of buns, trying to collect as many of the round objects as they can.

The competition starts at the sound of a gong at midnight. Dozens of contestants scrambled up three towers that were 14 meters high and studded with some nine thousand buns.

The ancient ritual known as "bun scrambling", unique to the southern Chinese city, is part of a religious festival to celebrate victory over evil.

However, after injuries and concerns over hygiene, the buns have been replaced by plastic replicas and the traditional bamboo structures have been reinforced with steel.

The festival runs for six days and the bun tower climb serves as the climax on the last night.

Another of the highlights of the festival is the procession of children dressed in traditional costume, held on stilts, through the island's narrow alleyways.

But the elaborate costumes were too much for some of the children in the blazing heat.

Visitors can still buy the real buns made of lotus paste and stamped with the Chinese character for "peace" at shops on the island.

The bun festival is one of the territory's most unique annual events. Its origin is thought to be as a way of giving thanks for overcoming an attack of the plague which hit the region during China's Qing dynasty period.

All of the festival practices are Taoist, an indigenous Chinese religious belief system.

Cheung Chau is a small island, about 30 minutes to one hour by ferry from Hong Kong's main island.

Tens of thousands of people flocked to a tiny
picturesque fishing village in Hong Kong for the
annual "Bun Festival".

Local media estimated that more than 20-thousand people descended on the island for Tuesday's festivities.

This year, the last day of Cheung Chau's festival was held on a public holiday in Hong Kong, marking Buddha's birthday.

 

Editor:Liu Fang |Source: CNTV.CN

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