Mixed Plate: Bao fever at Cheung Chau Bun Festival

Mixed Plate

What could be happier than a festival that honors tradition, food, and competition?

The Cheung Chau Bun Festival is all about manapua.

The bakeries of Cheung Chau island in the South China Sea have the task of making thousands of manapua for their annual party honoring the gods of the sea and the birth of Buddha.

For three days, all residents go vegetarian. That means the buns are filled with lotus seed, sesame, and red bean paste.

“You see the two words ping and an, which means good health. People eat this and wish people good health and good health for your family as well,” explained resident Daisy Kwok.

Some of the buns will be eaten, but most go on a tower for the strangest sports event in Asia: the Cheung Chau Bun Grab.

“The higher you get, the marks get higher. The participants try to get as many as they can,” said Chun Wah Hong of Cheung Chau Martial Arts Club.

As long as we’re in the neighborhood, we go yachting through Aberdeen, sample the local seafood, attempt some Hong Kong hip-hop, witness a parade of floating children.

All while appreciating the abundance of buns.

A Mighty Manapua Mixed Plate premieres on June 20 at 9:30 p.m. on KHON2. Click here for more information.

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