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2010年10月31日 星期日

Cultural heritage - Cheung Chau Bun Festival

Did you ever think that Cheung Chau Bun Festival is a heritage?

It is a cultural heritage of Hong Kong. This activity has been practised for more than 100 years. We need to protect it, like we protect the real heritage!

This is one of those unique festivals that will leave you spellbound and provide lifelong memories – and it all happens on the tiny island of Cheung Chau, once home to some of the most notorious pirates in the South China Sea.

Jiao-festival of Cheung Chau:

Cheung Chau was devastated by a plague in the late Qing dynasty. Local residents set up a sacrificial altar in front of Pak Tai Temple to pray to the god, Pak Tai, to drive off evil spirits. The residents even paraded the deity statues through the village lanes. The plague ended after performance of the ritual. Since then, residents on Cheung Chau have organised a Bun Festival every year to express thanks to the god for blessing and protecting them.

The festival also provides a platform for residents to perform their folk craft, such as making paper-mache effigies of deities, setting up the bamboo scaffolding of the Bun Mountain, and making handmade buns in preparation for the Bun Festival. This is accompanied by folk performing arts like Taoist rituals and music, a parade, lion dances, qilin dances and drum beating. The elderly residents participate in this festive activity with their children, preserving it from one generation to the next.

The weeklong festival climaxes with a large, carnival-like street procession featuring costumed children on stilts held aloft above the crowd, lion dances and other colourful participants. The parade winds its way through the narrow streets to the grounds near the Pak Tai Temple, which are dominated by enormous bamboo towers studded with sweet white buns, and where the main festivities take place. At midnight, athletes scramble up one of the towers in a contest to grab the top-most 'luckiest' ones.