China Travel Guide - Hong Kong Bun Festival

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					                China Travel Guide – Hong Kong Bun Festival

                  Written by Sophia Lin

                         The Cheung Chau Bun Festival is part of a whole series of
                         Chinese festival events, known as the Da Jiu festivals. These
                         are festivals of Taoist sacrifice. The festival is actually one of
                         the most popular of these festivals, as it is held on an annual
                         basis, while others are held once every several years, and one is
                         even held only one time every sixty years (making sure it is
                         held on the same year of the Chinese calendar).
                         It’s primarily a Hong Kong tradition, but really, you can find it
                         anywhere there’s some cultural crossover, so they hold similar
                         festivals in Taiwan and Singapore. Wherever there are
                         Hongkongers, there’s some form of the Hong Kong bun
                           The bun festival is really the Hong Kong equivalent of
Thanksgiving, usually taking place in either April or May. Interestingly, it’s actually a
vegetarian themed festival. All the traditional meals and activities of the festival revolve
around this theme, and you’ll even see the local McDonalds taking meat off the menu
for as long as the festival is active.
The festival does of course host the traditional dragon and lion dances, but also features
an incredible parade of floats, or the parade-in-the-air. Massive floats appear to glide on
air while being escorted by large groups of musicians playing gongs and drums loudly in
order to scare away the evil spirits. It’s really a sight to behold, stimulating all of the
One important aspect of the festival: Bun snatching. This involves massive mountains of
buns that participants must climb. On the way back down, you strip the mountain of its
buns. It’s really an incredible sight to behold. If you want to participate, just make sure
to learn how it’s done, first, or you may simply wind up tumbling head over heels to the
ground below. It’s not easy climbing a mountain of buns.
There are talks right now in Hong Kong to expand the whole bun snatching activity into
something of a sport for Hongkongers. Of course, this will switch the buns out with
anything from cakes to dolls to… Whatever seems to fit a certain holiday or event. Still,
the roots of Bun Snatching remain in the Hong Kong Bun Festival.
Hong Kong is one of the most incredible cities in the world. To be clear, it’s not really a

           China Travel Guide – Hong Kong Bun Festival
Chinese city. It is, technically, a part of China, but it has a culture all its own, it has its
own politics, its own people and traditions and even its own dialects of Chinese and
Hong Kong is considered to be the city where East meets West. Thanks to the city’s
historical role in international trade, you’ll see an equal mix of American, Chinese,
British and Japanese culture, with English signs sitting right beside those written in
If you want to go to China but would rather stay out of the more conservative parts of
the country, go to Hong Kong, and go during the Bun festival in the summer. It’s an
incredible place with incredible festivities and culture and traditions.
Hong Kong is generally a very accepting place. No matter who you are, you can get
along as a tourist in HK. In China, you really need to know exactly what to say and who
to say it to in order to get along with everyone okay (or you can just play the “Rude
American” card and hope that the authorities back off in response).
In Hong Kong, pretty much every walk of life is accepted and while you do need to be
polite, there’s no long, long list of restrictive rules about what you can and can’t do,
what you can and can’t say if you want to leave HK a free traveler. Hong Kong is just as
much an extension of the western world as it is an extension of the eastern world, and
it’s a place where everyone can get along just fine.

If you haven’t yet, start studying Hong Kong before
traveling there, and you’ll see exactly why you should
go. It’s not just the bun festival, although that’s a lot of
fun, it’s the culture, the people, the free market there,
everything. It’s just a great, great city, and one of the
greatest in the world. The food, the music, the look and
feel of the streets, even the Kung Fu movies, Hong
Kong is just a great place to be, a great place to visit, and if you feel like learning
Cantonese, it could even be a wonderful place to live.

            China Travel Guide – Hong Kong Bun Festival  

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Description: The bun festival is really the Hong Kong equivalent of Thanksgiving, usually taking place in either April or May.