Long-standing vegetarian tradition during Cheung Chau’s Bun Festival: McDonald’s sells nearly 4,000 limited-edition vegetarian buns

McDonald's vegetarian bun.

26th May 2023 – (Hong Kong) The annual Cheung Chau Bun Festival kicked off two days before Buddha’s Birthday, with island residents observing a traditional vegetarian diet and local restaurants and pubs not serving meat. This “meat ban” that is upheld during the festival will be lifted after the conclusion of all the ceremonies, including the Piu Sik Parade, and residents will be free to consume meat.

McDonald’s Cheung Chau branch sells “vegetarian buns” for three consecutive days during the festival, containing fried vegetables such as mushrooms, carrots and corn instead of meat. This limited edition vegetarian bun is only sold on the island. At least 4,000 vegetarian buns were sold this afternoon.

The Cheung Chau Bun Festival is steeped in tradition, with islanders observing vegetarian fasting and abstaining from killing animals for three days before the Buddha’s Birthday. The meat ban is lifted at 2pm today after the Piu Sik Parade ends.

Around 4pm, most restaurants in Cheung Chau have resumed serving meat.

Today, 26th May, is Buddha’s Birthday and the annual Cheung Chau Bun Festival, which has been revived after being suspended for three years due to the pandemic. The festival is a major attraction for tourists and locals alike, who flock to the island to soak up the festive atmosphere.

Many tourists from the mainland China came to Cheung Chau to experience the lively atmosphere of the Bun Festival.

The three main bun towers are a significant feature of the festival, but this year, due to the refusal of the contractor to undertake the task, they have been replaced with painted bun towers and small bun replicas. The 3D bun towers have become 2D this year, and it remains to be seen whether they will satisfy the tastes of visitors.

The temperature on Cheung Chau today reached a high of 31 degrees Celsius, but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of visitors. The intense bun-scrambling competition final will officially begin at midnight, with 12 participants competing in the men’s and women’s categories. The 12 contestants will have to climb up the bun tower, grab a bun, and return to the ground in three minutes. Those who fail to return to the ground on time will lose the match. Interested visitors should not miss this exciting event.

Tomorrow at 9 am, the Cheung Chau Bun Festival’s Charity Committee will distribute over 10,000 peace buns at the Pak Tai Square, which serves as a symbol of peace and goodwill. Visitors who want to try the buns should wake up early and head to the square. The Cheung Chau Bun Festival is not only a cultural event but also a celebration of community spirit and tradition that brings people together.