Written by Form 3 Ethan Wong
On the 24th of May, we arrived in Cheung Chau by ferry early in the morning to experience the yearly event Taiping Qingjiao (also known as Cheung Chau Bun Festival), which is truly commendable.
Before we went on the field to experience the customs of Taiping Qingjiao, we were led to Caritas Chan Chun Ha Field Studies Centre St. Paul Campus, where an instructor explained to us the origin, purpose and history of this festival with game quizzes. Then, we were split into groups to walk around the streets and alleys of Cheung Chau, enjoying the colorful lanterns (醮燈) and flower boards (花牌), tasting different flavors of Ping On buns (平安包), visiting temples where people worshiped the god Pak Tai and taking photos with the Bun Towers (包山). We also interviewed local residents and tourists for their views on the customs of Taiping Qingjiao, such as fasting. Finally, we summarised what we saw and heard that day, and shared our observations and reflection with the whole class back to campus.
This event not only gave us an invaluable opportunity to experience Taiping Qingjiao firsthand, but more importantly, it made us realise the importance of cultural inheritance. Passing on the traditional festival Taiping Qingjiao can preserve Hong Kong's unique culture and continue a centuries-old tradition; promoting it to the world can show Hong Kong's character and elegance, and bring tourists a new experience. We understand that if we want to pass on the legacy, someone must be willing to take over the baton and pass on our culture to the next generation, and learning is the foundation of passing on.
I hope that all those who come to Cheung Chau to participate in Taiping Qingjiao will know its history and understand the purpose of each custom. It is believed that the festive atmosphere will then grow stronger and the activities can then become even more meaningful.