The Cheung Chau Bun Festival is an annual festival held on the small island of Cheung Chau in Hong Kong. I was fortunate enough to have had the chance to attend this unique festival several times while I was living in Hong Kong.

A Taoist “Da Jiu Festival,” it draws thousands of people each year and is held on the 8th day of the fourth month of the lunar calendar — usually in April or May. The festival lasts for seven days, and during three days, the entire island goes vegetarian. This fun festival is deemed one of the world’s top 10 quirky local festivals.

The festival started in response to a plague that wreaked havoc on Cheung Chau during the late Qing Dynasty – the locals built an altar and paraded statues of deities to ward off the evil spirits they believed had caused the plague. Their efforts were successful, and the plague was soon gone, and the festival remains to this day.

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