Chung Yuk-chuen crowned as ‘King of Kings’ and Angela Wong Ka-yan named ‘Queen of the Queens ’ in the bun scrambling competition in Cheung Chau

Angela Wong Ka-yan (left) and Chung Yuk-chuen (right)

27th May2023 – (Hong Kong) After a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the bun scrambling competition at the Cheung Chau Bun Festival, finally resumed on the night of May 26th. Even before the ticket booths opened, there were long queues of people waiting to get in. Some fans of the bun scrambling competition took the first ferry in the morning to secure their tickets, while others came all the way from Fujian after learning about the festival on social media, expressing their satisfaction with Cheung Chau.

The free tickets for the bun scrambling competition were distributed at a booth next to the Cheung Chau Fire Station at 10pm, with approximately 1,400 tickets available. However, by 8.30pm on Friday, despite the hot weather and mosquitoes, there were already over 200 people queuing up, with many spectators bringing chairs to rest, playing cards or drinking to pass the time, just to get their hands on tickets to watch the long-awaited competition.

Photo shows the finalists scrambling up the bun tower to gather as many buns as they can within a three-minute time limit to vie for the championships.
Chung Yuk-chuen (left) was the male champion and Wong Ka-yan (right) won the women’s contest. Wong, who has been the champion three times in the women’s division since 2016, became the first “Queen of Queens” of the competition.

As the audience counted down, the gong was struck by Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism, Kevin Yeung, and the 12 athletes, 9 males and 3 females, climbed up the tower to grab as many buns on top with the highest 9 points as they could. In no time, all the buns at the top of the tower were snatched up, and the athletes began to climb down to grab bags with lower scores. The 3-minute time limit passed, and at least 3 athletes had not landed yet and were disqualified.

The hot favourite and the first “King of Kings”, defending champion 41-year-old Jason Kwok Ka-ming climbed up to the 9-point area and grabbed a bag full of buns. However, he failed to land on time and was disqualified. Kwok later explained that it was due to technical issues, as the safety clip kept getting stuck. He said he had planned to come down after more than 50 seconds, but the delay caused him to miss the deadline. When asked if he was disappointed, he said he had no choice and that he had already discussed the issue with the technicians beforehand. Perhaps they thought it would be better for him to climb up higher.

The event also included the Bun Scrambling Invitation Relay, in which six local Cheung Chau organisations participated. The relay involved three-member teams competing immediately after the individual competition.

In the men’s category, Chung Yuk-chuen emerged as the champion with 954 marks, followed by Yip Kin-man with 804 marks as the first runner-up, and Wong Chi-kit with 628 marks as the second runner-up. Angela Wong Ka-yan won the women’s category with 684 marks and was also named the “Queen of Queens” for winning the women’s division three times since 2016. Lai Wai-chun was awarded the “Full Pockets of Lucky Buns” award for gathering 121 buns. Meanwhile, Janet Kung, the previous champion in the women’s category, lost her title this year.

The Cheung Chau Bun Scrambling Competition is a popular event that has been held annually for over a century. It is a unique cultural tradition that originated in the late Qing dynasty and has since become an integral part of the Cheung Chau Bun Festival. The festival is held on the island of Cheung Chau in Hong Kong and attracts both locals and tourists who come to witness this thrilling event.