Cheung Chau Bun Festival is one of the biggest and remarkable festivals celebrated in Hong Kong. It usually celebrate on the 8th day of fourth lunar month which is also the birthday of Buddha. This date is also a Hong Kong holiday.
The highlights of the entire festival are the “Piu Sik 飘色” (floating colours) parade and “抢包山比赛” bun scrambling competition.
I have been wanting to experience this festival ever since I watched TVB drama “情越海岸線 / Slow Boat Home” which was filmed at Cheung Chau. This drama totally ignited my curiosity about this tiny island.
This is the highlight of my Hong Kong trip this time! I was so so so excited over this!
Around 1 hour ferry ride from Hong Kong island to Cheung Chau
Butterflies flying in my stomach when I saw this sight~
Cheung Chau is originally and still a fishing village but now is more of a tourist attraction for fresh seafood and sandy beach. We can still see fishing fleets working from the harbour. Perfect place for city people to experience traditional fishing village lifestyle.
Every year, this festival draws ten of thousand local and tourists to Cheung Chau. This year, I am one of the ten thousands visitors! ^.^v VIP tickets thanks to lovely HK friends! They kept telling us to wear thin layer of clothes as that day will be very crowded plus burning joss sticks but turned out it rained throughout that day hence weather was very chilling…. lol I was so freezing that my whole body was shivering including my teeth lol
The banners were exactly the same as what I saw in the drama!
Typical street in Cheung Chau
平安包 direct translate is “safe and sound bun” but the locals call it as the “lucky bun”
Traditionally, throughout the festival (the whole week), the island residents eat only vegetarian meals
Police started to clear out the walkway for the floating colour parade later in the afternoon.
Having a VIP ticket means we no need to squeeze with other people lol
This was where we were sitting.
Let me introduce a short story on this traditional floating colour parade.
More than a century ago, a plague was devastated Cheung Chau.Villagers paraded through the island’s narrow streets disguised as deities to drive away evil spirits responsible for the plague. The plague surprisingly ended after the parade ended. Since then, this ritual continues annually to commemorate the people who died during the plague.
Today, Piu Sik parade consists a swirl of colours such as lion dancers, kung fu club members and Taoist priests in traditional dress wind their way along the island’s narrow streets. The stars of the parade are the islander’s youngsters (aged 5-6) heavily made up, dressed up as mythological figures and modern Chinese heroes and appear to float above the crowd on an intricate system of rod and wires.
Cheerleading team and traditional dress club started the show.
They were giving out star stickers as a symbolism of good luck.
So hip one.. still have kpop dancing lol
Here comes the highlight of the whole parade! The “floating” children!
This definitely deserve a solo shot! So pretty lah!
Lion dances and other performances arranged in between each stream of Piu Sik.
It finally ended with this little preview of bun scrambling competition that night.
After the parade ended, most people took the ferry back to Hong Kong island as the locals still have to work the next day. We stayed back to watch the bun scrambling competition which only starts in the midnight.
We then started to walk around the island to explore.
Buy all the souvenir back! Lol
Much lesser crowd than just now.
Real dried up puffer fish!
Then we had some famous big fishballs in Cheung Chau.
They tasted similar to our Tiong Bahru fishballs also..
The most authentic bun shop in Cheung Chau.
These supposedly “lucky” bun (although direct translate should be “peace” bun) comes in three flavours: sesame, lotus and red bean paste. The official seal stamped on the bun is the chinese character for “peace”.
I think it was 1 for HKD 8
I expected there was a queue but what I did not expect was the queue was never ending! I followed the queue and turned a few alleys before I could see the end…
These buns worth 1.5 hours of our time… lol.. ok la I think can just buy from any bun shop lah..
Cheung Chau 長洲
How to get there: Take ferry from Central pier no 5 to Cheung Chau (55 min ride)
Piu Sik performance: 6 May 2014, 2pm – 4.30pm
Photo credits to Malcolm Soh