For four days this week, the normally sleepy and peaceful island of Cheung Chau was the centre of one of Asia's most noisy and colourful ceremony -- the Bun Festival.
GV fishing junks in habour
GV woman rowing a small boat
GV & MV street procession and flags (2 shots)
GV lion dance
GV procession (3 shots)
GV three mountains of buns
MV & CU woman buying buns (2 shots)
MV & GV night scenes of scramble for buns (4 shots)
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Background: For four days this week, the normally sleepy and peaceful island of Cheung Chau was the centre of one of Asia's most noisy and colourful ceremony -- the Bun Festival.
Thousands of Chinese took part in the annual ceremony. Lion dancers, unicorn and dragon dancers -- all mythological creatures that bring good fortune -- pranced through the streets to the beat of drums and gongs.
Towering 50 feet above the island's waterfront were "mountains" of buns -- for all to see and for the gods and spirits to feast upon. At the stroke of midnight on the third day (Tuesday, 30 April), the crowd made a mad dash for the stack of buns. Within a few minutes, the last bun was plucked. All that remained of the "mountains of buns" were three bare bamboo skeletons.
The annual Bun Festival was started about a hundred years ago by Taoist priests as a festival to malevolent ghosts and spirits. Throughout the four-day festival, Cheung Chau islanders maintained a vegetarian diet while the local fishing fleet stayed at its moorings.