Cheung Chau Jiao Festival is a unique tradition in Hong Kong. It is said that a plague on Cheung Chau more than one century ago was dispelled after people prayed to deities in front of the temple of Pak Tai (King of the North). Since then, the festival is organised in the fourth month of the lunar calendar to honour Pak Tai and pray for peace and safety of the entire island. The grand parade and bun-scrambling have all along been the highlights of the Jiao Festival.
The grand parade, which takes place in the afternoon, features a procession of colourful floats called piu sik. Child actors dressed in special costumes impersonating historical figures or celebrities look like "gliding in the air". To ensure the smooth running of the parade, the Government would join hands with the organiser in making preparations such as crowd control arrangements and street cleansing before the Jiao Festival.
The finale of the festival is bun-scrambling which people believe can bring them good luck. The Government has been striving to ensure that the activity is conducted in compliance with safety, hygiene and other requirements. Bun-scrambling was interrupted since 1979 due to security concerns, and was revived in 2005. Today, the activity is still a major event in the island's calendar.
Starting from 1979, the Government required that the Chinese character sau for longevity should be stamped in red on every bun. Since 2005 when bun-scrambling was revived, the Chinese characters ping on which means peace have been stamped on the buns. The Ping On Bun was therefore named after the Chinese characters.