"Poon Choi (Big Bowl Festival)" Sheung Shui by vigi

Sheung Shui Travel Guide: 0 reviews and 3 photos

To the residents of Sheung Shui, Chung Yeung Festival has a special meaning. This is the day when the first generation of their ancestor, Liu, arrival in Hong Kong. Thus, they set this day as an annual remembrance of their ancestors. In the morning, they'll visit and sweep their ancestors' grave, sing songs and read peoms, followed by a delicious refreshment of “Poon Choi” in the afternoon.

This year’s ceremony took place on the breezy, sunny day on 22 October 2004. All villagers, and students from Liu’s schools (one kindagarden, four primary schools, and three secondary schools) gathered in the grass playground before sunset, waiting for the mouth-watering "Poon Choi". More than 300 basins of “Poon Choi” were served that day.

If you know the place, date and time, you can freely walk-in for the Poon Choi, free of charge. They will not check your identity, as long as you blend in with the locals to share a basin.

The Origin of 'Poon Choi'

"Poon Choi" also known as "Big Bowl Feast", is a type of age-old delicacy composed of different layers of ingredients served in wooden basins. The tradition of “Poon Choi” dates back to Song Dynasty (AD1270s) when China was invaded by the Mongolians and the imperial family was forced to flee south to Hong Kong. Villagers in the New Territories were endeavored to provide the imperial family with their best food they had. As they could not find sufficient nice containers, they used big wooden basin to serve the food. Formerly, it is a dish exclusive to walled villagers in the New Territories, which served only during religious rituals, festivals, special occasions and wedding banquets, and usually shared only among family members or their disciples. Nowadays, Poon Choi can be enjoyed at many restaurants throughout the year.

The Origin of Chung Yeung Festival

Chung Yeung Festial, also known as Autumn Remembrance Festival. This festival is similar to Ching Ming, when Chinese families show their respect to their ancestors by visiting their ancestors' graves and perform cleansing rites (clear away weeds, touch up gravestone inscriptions, and make offerings of food and wine). They usually bring along various food for sharing. Chung Yeung Festival falls on the 9th day of the 9th month of Lunar calendar. It is a day to remember and pay respect to our ancestors. It is also a get-to-the-nature day for hiking. The festival is about a Han Dynasty (BC202 – AD220) legend. A soothsayer advised Woon King that there would be a disaster, and told him he should take his family to a high place for the entire 9th day of the 9th month. Woon King did it, and upon his return to his village, all living things in the village had been slaughtered.

  • Last visit to Sheung Shui: Oct 2004
  • Intro Updated Nov 1, 2004
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Comments (1)

  • ronaldbarr's Profile Photo
    Apr 17, 2005 at 11:10 PM

    Hi Virginia. Greetings from Ireland. You have so much good work here on VT I must come back again to see more. It is very good. Best wishes for the week ahead. ronaldbarr


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