Scaling the 'bun mountain'

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 April, 2009, 12:00am

Cheung Chau's annual Bun Festival is now underway and will culminate in the famous bun-snatching race near midnight of May 3. It is the eighth day of the fourth lunar month and is locally regarded as the birthday of Buddha.

Although the festival has been held on Cheung Chau for around 200 years, the bun-snatching race - in which traditionally young men raced up bamboo 'mountains' to snatch buns - was suspended in 1978 when one of the mountains collapsed, injuring around 100 people.

It was resumed in 2005 with additional safety provisions.

Staged at Cheung Chau's Pak Tai Temple, the festival is jointly presented by the Hong Kong Cheung Chau Bun Festival Committee and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, which has introduced carnival activities to the festival.

One of the highlights is a climbing carnival that will be held this Sunday. It gives the public a chance to join in the fun of climbing a bun mountain.

In addition, there will be stalls, handicrafts, variety shows and climbing demonstrations, along with previews of the 2009 East Asian Games, which will be held here in December.

The bun mountain bun-snatching race - one of Hong Kong's oldest traditions - will start at 11.30pm on May 2, and will be divided into individual and team events.

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