2008 News Archive - Holidays - Take a bite of the Bun Festival

11 05 2007

For a spectacle that you won't soon forget, go to Hong Kong on May 24th, Buddha's birthday, to witness the infamous Bun Festival.

The festival actually takes place on Hong Kong's most picturesque and unspoilt outlying island - Cheung Chau.

There is nothing quite like the 16-foot high towers of steaming buns that the islanders erect during the festival in order to ensure calm seas for the forthcoming year.

And of course the lion and dragon dancers come out in full force for the festival, ensuring a noisy, chaotic, exotic atmosphere that will excite even the most jaded visitor.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of the festival is the children dressed as traditional heroes and suspended above the crowds on the tips of swords. The children are drugged prior to the event in order to ensure they remain calm throughout the ceremony.

And at a quarter to midnight, a giant effigy of the King of Ghosts is dramatically set on fire and the buns are taken down and distributed throughout the crowd.

What is undoubtedly one of the most unique festivals in the world, the event has been widely studied by anthropologists.

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