Hong Kong will celebrate the ancient Cheung Chau Bun Festival - one of the world's most quirky events - on the island of Cheung Chau from May 9-13.
Every year, the people of Cheung Chau get busy making papier-mâché effigies of deities, preparing costumes, steaming tens of thousands of ping on bao, aka 'lucky buns', and building a bamboo tower.
They're preparing for thousands of people to descend upon their tiny island to celebrate one of TIME Magazine's “Top 10 Quirky Local Festivals”.
The story behind this ancient festival is that the villagers summoned Pak Tai, a powerful deity to parade through the streets, warding off evil spirits and protecting them from a devastating plague.
For more than a century, the villagers have celebrated the festival with the Piu Sik (Floating Colours) Parade, Chinese opera performances, lion dances, and delicious food. These rituals are still performed today keeping local customs alive.
Bun Scrambling Competition (Photo credit: Leisure and Cultural Services Department, HKSAR)
The main event is on Sunday May 12 when the Bun Scrambling Competition kicks off. Competitors scale a 14-metre-tall bamboo tower covered with 9,000 imitation buns and try to collect as many buns as possible in three minutes.