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Published on : Monday, June 1, 2015
This festival has over 100 years of history. Every year, thousands of people descend upon the tiny island for The Piu Sik (Floating Colours) Parade, Lucky Bun (Ping On Bun) and The Bun Scrambling Competition, the ancient custom during the festival.
The tradition has been passed down for generations. To ensure the tradition keeps passing on, every year, Cheung Chau Islanders fuse the new elements with the custom to draw the attention from the young. This year, “K-Pop stars” will be featured by one of the Piu Sik parade teams, the first-ever “Ping On (Lucky) Macaron” with Chinese tea favour is invented, and more to be found out on the island.
The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) cordially invited TV stations, printed and online media to broadcast, to publish, or to report this colourful festival.
It all started with a plague that devastated Cheung Chau in the late Qing dynasty (1644–1911). The islanders built an altar in front of the Pak Tai Temple and petitioned the god Pak Tai to drive off the evil spirits besieging the island, while parading statues of deities through the narrow lanes of their village. The plague ended after the performance of these Taoist rituals and 100 years later the rituals are still performed in a festival that is listed as an intangible part of China’s cultural heritage.
The 2-day event includes Taoist ceremonies, Piu Sik Parade and an exciting Bun Scrambling Competition involving a tower of buns.
Piu Sik Parade (25 May 2015 2pm – 4pm)
The highlight of the festival is the Piu Sik (Floating Colours) Parade. This dramatic reenactment of the ceremonial parade held to drive away a plague a century ago sees young children, dressed in the guises of traditional deities and modern celebrities, balance on poles and accompanied by gongs and lion dancers, appearing to float above the crowds in a carnival-like procession.
Bun Scrambling Competition (25 May 2015 11:30pm – 26 May 2015 12:30am)
Opposite the Pak Tai Temple, competitors stand poised at the bottom of an enormous bamboo tower studded with imitation buns. On the signal, they scramble up it and try to collect as many “lucky buns” as possible. The higher the buns, the more points they are worth.