Reply To: Bun Festival 2007 – rainy start but hot main day

Martin Williams
after parade

Out after the parade; the festival site had few people milling about, plus fair amount of litter.

bun fest tung wan

I walked along Tung Wan beach – busy; a good place to head after a hot time watching the parade I figured.

ferry wait

waiting for ferry

– the beach was surely a far better place than the ferry queues aftr the parade! Even as I later walked by at around 7.15, there were still long queues; walking along themextenced to Long Island Restaurant – and the barriers and police tape suggested the queues had even reached along to the main row of seafood restaurants.

bun festival seafood

Seafood restaurants were full to bursting – gone are the days when Cheung Chau stayed vegetarian till after the buns are removed from the towers; nowadays, seafood n meat can be sold the last evening.

ghost alley

Nearby, along a strip of waterfront in front of Pak Tei Temple, Cheung Chau’s wandering ghosts had a last chance to feed before heading to the underworld.

dai sze wong

As Dai Sze Wong – good of the underworld – looked on, people set out food, drink and money (Bank of Hell notes).

ghost lantern

Ghost lanterns lit the way to the food, drink and money.

incense waving

Elderly women waved bundles of burning incense to the spirits/gods.

ghost alley bun festival

Quietly, this strip of land was  prepared for a major event in the Bun Festival. Here’ s the view from the small shelter where the priests were to sit by around 11, to chant, and watch the ghosts, make sure they’re full and, at 11.30, to complete the island exorcism by saying it’s time – time for Dai Sze Wong and his ministers to be burnt, returning to the underworld and taking Cheung Chau’s wandering ghosts away with them for another year.