Events, Festivals and Exhibitions

Cheung Chau Bun Festival, 2024

12 May - 16 May

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If you love eating Chinese buns, then the Cheung Chau Bun Festival could be right up your alley. Held annually on the island of Cheng Chau in Hong Kong, the festival attracts tens of thousands of local and overseas tourists to join the island’s 25,000 inhabitants, making it one of the most important cultural events in Hong Kong.

What is the Cheung Chau Bun Festival in Hong Kong?

Believed to have grown out of Taoist rituals celebrating the end of a plague, this traditional Chinese festival used to include a giant bun scramble where hundreds of people climb up bun-covered towers, snatch as many of the goodies as possible and then distribute them amongst the crowd. After an accident in 1978 where one of the bamboo towers collapsed, the twenty metre high structures are now made out of steel and the competing climbers have mountaineering safety harnesses making your quest for one of the 60,000 buns a much less risky business.

The festival was cancelled for three years due to Covid but will go ahead again in 2023.

What to expect at the Cheung Chau Bun 2024 Festival

The bun scrambling competition is probably the liveliest event of the festival, but other highlights includes the Piu Sik Parade – a colourful procession where, to the sound of drums and gongs, children dressed as mythological heroes appear to be floating above the crowd while suspended in steel frames on the tips of swords and paper fans. Other activities include lion dances, music, a parade of colourful little boats, Taoist ceremonies and of course lots of food stalls.

Staying longer in Hong Kong? Check out the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in June.

The two main activities – the Bun Scrambling Competition and the Piu Sik Parade – take place on the last day with the Competition late at night. A good place to head to is the 200-year-old Pak Tai temple which becomes the centre of the festival. If you need a rest from it all, check out the Tung Wan beach at the other side of the island – a ten-minute walk through the shop-lined streets. So, if you are in the area, why not pop in and enjoy the festivities?

Cheung Chau Bun Hong Kong
The Piu Sik or Floating Colours Parade. Photo Hong Kong Tourism Board

When is the Cheung Chau Bun 2024 Festival

It will be from 12 to 16 May 2024, concluding when participants climb a tower at Pak Tai Temple.

How to get to the Cheung Chau Bun Festival

It’s a short ferry ride from Central Pier 5 to the Cheung Chau Ferry Pier. When you arrive at the pier in Cheung Chau, turn left and follow San Hing Praya Street until you arrive at Kwok Man Road (after about 10 minutes) to your right. Turn into Kwok Man Road and then take a first left into Pak She Street. Continue to walk for about four minutes.

For more information about the Cheung Chau Bun Festival:

Visit the Festival page of the Discover Hong Kong tourism board website. Browse their website for further details about Hong Kong and the many wonderful and varied activities you can get up to on a stay at the island.

Main image: Traditional steamed buns being stamped in preparation for the annual Cheung Chau Bun Festival, Hong Kong, Deposit Photos.


Pak Tai temple
Pak She StreetCheung ChauHong Kong+ Google Map
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Johan Smits

Freelance writer, translator, web content developer, author of the novel Phnom Penh Express and Tommy, a short story. Johan has travelled extensively since leaving his native Antwerp. He has lived in Taiwan, West Africa, Central Asia, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Thailand, where he now lives. Loves trying out local brews but tends to avoids noise. Chronically indecisive about where to lay down his hat.

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