Thursday 29 May 2014

Hong Kong : Cheung Chau Bun Festival - 抢包山比赛 Bun Scrambling Competition (Part II)

Cheung Chau Bun Festival 06 May 2014

Other than the Piu Sik Parade, the finale of this festival is this Bun Scrambling Competition. As simple as it sounds, competitors dash up a bamboo tower studded with imitation buns and collect as many "lucky" buns as possible. Buns earn the competitors points (the higher up the better), and good fortune allegedly. Scramblers have three minutes and usually race to the top first to collect the buns with highest score. The winner bags the title of King or Queen of the Buns.

Bun Scrambling Competition was suspended for 27 years before it was re-introduced in 2005 due to accident happened in 1978 which one of the three bamboo towers collapsed resulting in many injuries.

Today, the three bamboo towers have been replaced by a single steel tower. To avoid food wastage, real buns which were used in the past are now replaced by 9,000 plastic replica buns cover the 14-metre-tall scrambling tower.

These 3 towers of buns are consist of real buns with a shelter on top of them to prevent any mold due to bad weather. These are not used during the competition. Once the competition is over, these buns will be distributed to the locals as a symbol of peace and luck.


lol super candid pic of the little boy eating 'lucky' bun happily. It more seems like he took the bun from his crying little brother. 

 In preparation of the bun scrambling competition later.. 

Saw this while walking to the queue. Can anyone tell me what was this for?

We queued from 8pm to 10pm just to get into this concourse with drizzle rain the whole time ~.~ made me freeze even more... Luckily we were quite front in the queue and the view was quite good. #worththecold

Free gift lol

Then suddenly the rain got bigger just an hour before midnight. Disposable poncho were given by the thoughtful organisers. All of us was praying the rain to stop before the competition.

meaning "Everything is ready,and all that we need is an east wind". This case, the east wind is good weather.

It was as if our praying was being heard, the rain stopped just 15 minutes before midnight. All the scramblers started to remove their poncho and get into position. =)))

On the stroke of midnight, twelve participants race up the 14-metre tall conical bun tower to grab as many buns as they can collect within the three minute time limit. The bun tower is divided into three zones from top to bottom and buns each carry a score of nine, three and one respectively. The contestants who obtain the highest total score in three minutes are the champions.


There were two female contestants but obviously their physical could not compete with the boys. It was a  good thing that they are rank differently from the boys. One of the two female contestants is the one in red.

The scramblers have to reach the ground before the time is up otherwise they will be disqualified.

There was a second part of the competition: a Bun Scrambling Invitation Relay. First scrambler will have to use their fastest speed to climb up the tower, grab the designated bun and come down as fast as possible to pass the turn to their team mates. The three member team who complete the fastest wins. 

Actually they did announced who was the winner for both competition but I did not bother to listen.. I mean come on~ only care about the journey but not the result lololo 

By the time the competition ended, the real buns were removed from the three towers.

Night was concluded with fireworks~

The ferry had an extended services that night to cater for the audiences to go back to Hong Kong Island, as well as the bus services at Central Pier. By the time I reached my apartment it was already 2am in the morning but totally worth my trip to Hong Kong! 


Cheung Chau 長洲
How to get there: Take ferry from Central Pier no 5 to Cheung Chau (55 min ride)
Refer to the fare table and ferry timing at
Piu Sik performance: 6 May 2014, 2pm - 4.30pm
Bun Scrambling competition: 6 May 2014, 12 midnight

Photo credits to Malcolm Soh
Video background music: TVB 情越海岸線 / Slow Boat Home theme song 《还想》

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