Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cheung Chau Bun Festival

I took the boys to Cheung Chau Island today (one of Hong Kong's outlying islands).  It is a 30 minute ferry ride to a small fishing island.  We have been there several times before, but this trip was special.  Usually we go there to play at the beach but this weekend, Cheung Chau is holding their annual Bun Festival.  The festival coincides with Buddha's birthday and began as a ritual for fishing villages to pray for safety from pirates but now mainly showcases traditional Chinese culture.

We started off playing at the beach since it was an absolutely beautiful day!

After playing at the beach, we decided to walk through the town to see all the festivities.  The first thing that we noticed was all the buns being made in the local bakeries right on the street.  They are traditional chinese steamed buns (slightly sweet-ish).  During this festival, they make huge towers of these buns and have a race where people climb the tower to collect the buns (the higher up the bun, the more luck you get).  The race is held at midnight this coming Saturday (Buddha's birthday), so we did not see the race, but got to see the towers!

We were also lucky enough to watch some of the traditional Chinese theatre being put on.  I have no idea of the plot, but it was really fascinating to watch!

Finally, we also visited the Pak Tai temple which was built in 1783 to commemorate Pak Tai, the Taoist God of the Sea.  They were burning lots of incense outside and inside the temple of course, which you will see in the photos...the spiral things are large curled sticks of incense and you can see the written prayers that people have attached to them.

An amazing adventure to say the least! :)

Here is a slideshow of all the photos from our outing if you'd like to see more!



Maggie said...

Oh my goodness, How did I miss this blog? I am going to have to do some serious reading. Your experience there sounds amazing so far. Maggie (Thurman) Roth

Domestic Goddess..Diva sometimes said...

What a great day you spent with your boys! And still looking like a hot mama after 2 boys. ;)

Makes me think that maybe Curt is right and we should visit Japan soon.