May 3, Cheung Chau Bun Festival. This festival has floating children and 60 ft tall towers made of buns

At midnight in Hong Kong, thousands of people will gather to watch Bun Festival competitors risk all to climb a 60ft tower – made of buns.

The Bun Scrambling Competition is the climax of the Cheung Chau Bun Carnival.

12 specially chosen contestants have three minutes to climb the tower and collect as many lucky buns as possible.

They aren’t allowed to carry any hard objects or any objects that can be used as offensive weapons!

Over the hundred years of this festival, young men would race up the tower to get hold of the buns.

Women now compete.

The higher the bun, the better luck it was supposed to bring to the winner’s family.

The race was known as “Bun-snatching” (搶包山).

The three Bun mountains

One legend of the Bun Festival is that 18th century Cheung Chau was devastated by a plague AND invaded by pirates.

An image of the god Pak Tai drove away evil spirits.

Villagers also disguised themselves as different deities to drive away the evil spirits.

Colorful characters in a previous year’s parade passing along the harbourside San Hing Praya Street

The otherworldly Piu Sik or Floating Colors Parade features “floating” children.

Dressed as ancient gods and current pop culture figures, they appear to be levitating.

Actually, they are secured within steel frames.

Parents consider it a great honor for their offspring to be part of the parade.

The 2013 parade first broke with tradition by featuring a non-Chinese child in the parade.

Two British brothers, aged 6 and 5, depicted British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and a farmer.

 

 

 

Here one child seems to stand, single footed, on the outstretch hand of another.

In 2016, a food processing machine was used for the first time at the Bun Festival.

The owner of Kwok Kam Kee Cake Shop (already producing by hand about 60,000 buns each year) brought in the machine to up production to 20 buns a minute.

Though the tower buns are plastic, thousands of real buns will be stamped with lucky symbols and given out tomorrow.

 

Sources: SCMP, readtiger, hongkongextras