Monday, January 31, 2011

Days like these makin me happee.

I learnt a lot today. Nothing prophetic, no life lessons, just some interesting things about lots of different things. I went to the museum! I'm telling you, man, if you wanna learn things about things just go to the museum. It's full of interesting... things.

Now, I'm not going to indulge you with a complete step-by-step tour of The Hong Kong Museum of History, so I've rifled through my warren of a memory and (just like a pensieve) pulled out the strangest file from todays escapades.

Cheung Chau Bun Snatching Festival

Yeah you read correctly - its a festival where people snatch buns.
   'But why, Bri? Why do they snatch buns?'
Hahaha, well well well, I'm glad you asked. Lets start from the beginning, shall we?

What we are talking about is an ancient Chinese festival celebrated annually in early May in the small seaside town of Cheung Chau where people pray to a bunch of different deities in order to stay safe from pirates. For three days of the festival the whole seaside town goes vegetarian - including McDonalds who make mushroom burgers - although I have no idea why. I can't seem to find out what not-eating-meat has to do with pirates or buns.

Moving on. In addition to lion and dragon dances, it is a parents' greatest honour to have their children (who are dressed as heroes- naturally) suspended above the crowds on the tips of swords and fans. Apparently they are supported on specially-made steel frames, but appear to be gliding. Again, what this has to do with pirates and buns I haven't a clue - but I heard it has something to do with the deite Pak Tai who competes with Tin Hau for the affection of the fisherfolk.

Now, about the bun snatching...
At the Pak Thai temple, the people erect three 60-foot bamboo towers and then cover them in buns. Buns! Historically, young men (only men were allowed) would race up the tower and grab buns. The higher the bun the better the luck. However, on one, fateful, bun-snatching day in 1978, a hundred people were injured when one such bun tower collapsed. (So many bun puns to make, but I shant because people were actually hurt.) The races were banned after that bun bungle (AGH) until 2005 when they were brought back with additional health and safety requirements, such as steel replacing bamboo frames, proper climbing tools, and prepatory tutorials from bun-snatching veterans. The government, bless their souls, also granted permission for girls to compete. Sadly just two years later it was further decided that the buns would in fact be made of plastic...

Now there are no actual buns at the bun snatching festival.
And all because of pirates.
Talkabout digression.

So that was a wonderful day at the museum!!! What will I do tomorrow? I will imagine at leat six impossible things before breakfast, and make myself even more sick than I did today by eating even more cheesecake.

1 comment:

  1. I suggest keeping to cheesecake and avoiding the plastic buns. x


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