Bun rage, passion and betrayal - a unique Hong Kong holiday (6 photos + 1 video)

Category: Holidays, PEGI 0+
22 May 2024

Every year in Hong Kong, three very tall towers are built from soft Chinese bao buns. And they started building them because of the plague. Sounds pretty crazy? And it looks exactly the same, but the story is wonderful!

Both girls and boys take part - equal rights in a fierce struggle for rolls!

Rolls and plague, plague and rolls

In the 18th century, Cheung Chau Island (one of the Hong Kong islands) was dying out due to the plague, and those who tried to escape the infected at sea became victims of pirates prowling along the coast.

It was a lucky chance that saved the residents. Sailors from the mainland once brought to the island a picture of Pak Tai, a good patron god, protector of people. And suddenly the Plague retreated, and the pirates sailed away about their business. The island became free.

One of the rare statues of Pak Tayu

The island, already on the verge of extinction, suddenly received deliverance, so it is impossible to describe the insane delight and gratitude to the deity (of course, the Chinese decided that God had saved them).

And since in Asia it is customary to bring food to the gods as offerings, especially such buns, the residents decided not just to present gifts to God, but to build a HUGE tower of buns. Or better yet, three.

And what’s remarkable is that bakery towers continue to be built every year since the mid-18th century.

Have you tried these? I really like it, but it's not vegetarian

Why climb a skyscraper made of buns?

At the same time, the “plague” festival of Cheng Chau Bung is very lively. In its framework, rival participants climb onto huge towers of buns with bags and from there begin to collect as many buns as possible. Whoever collects the most has presented God with the most gifts, which means he has won and received a blessing.

In total, three towers require 9 thousand buns! In some years there was not enough money, so the rolls were replaced with plastic (to make it more economical and use them the next year). But of course, residents like it when they have money for real bread.

There is also a parade of children floating in the air.

They all climb to the very top on purpose to rob them from the top of their heads. Because if you start peeling from below, then there will be nothing to cling to and you won’t be able to climb higher.

Not very hygienic, but they try to carefully wrap the buns in paper bags.

The festival is held at night, so everything is under the light of bright spotlights

In recent years, these pieces of paper have been printed with the “price” of the bun, that is, the points that will be taken into account in the calculation. Straight out gamification in real life, and incentives to strive to climb to the top for the most expensive rolls faster than anyone else. This made the competition even more spectacular, with participants literally snatching the best buns from under each other’s noses.

You can even snatch the bun out of your hands, but such a participant was condemned by the audience. After all, one cannot show envy when collecting a divine offering.

These towers are just HUGE

In churches, during the holiday, everyone who enters is given a bun; a huge part of the city budget is also spent on this. And 15 minutes before midnight, the King of Ghosts is burned in the temple (that is, the Plague is destroyed).

There is really one thing, but during the festival, about a week, you cannot eat meat dishes. A lot of baked goods and various foods are sold on the streets, but visiting China for a week without meat usually doesn’t make them smile.

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