Sunday, May 3, 2009

Cheung Chau Bun Festival

Corresponding with many “May Day” celebrations over this weekend in Hong Kong, I was able to explore a small island with its own unique festival tradition.

Cheung Chau is a small island that is only a 35 minute ferry ride from Central Hong Kong.
It has old Buddhist temples, beaches, charming hills, abundant fishing, and the annual Cheung Chau Bun Festival.

This celebration is complete with lion and dragon dances, floats, performers, drummers, and what has become known as the “floating children”.

The children are the highlight of the parade – dressed in elaborate costumes depicting legendary heroes and paraded above the crowd on tall stilts.

Securely attached to beautiful floats, these ’china dolls’ appear to glide through the air.
Parents consider it a great honor having their children participate in the day’s events.

The festival honors Pak Tai – the Taoist god of the sea.
However, I’m still not sure how the pastry buns came into the story or “bun festival” ? Maybe it was Pak Tai’s favorite treat??

None the less, it was a beautiful, colorful, fascinating afternoon experiencing and being part of true traditional Chinese culture.

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