'Ping on' or peace rice scrambling is a tradition in Cheung Chau. Photo: Footprint in Cheung Chau/ Facebook

For many in Hong Kong, the annual scramble up a metal tower is a highlight of the Cheung Chau Bun Festival as well as the usual lion dances and parades, but some may not be familiar with a similar tradition that looked like chickens in a feeding frenzy.

The rush for ping on, or peace, rice is particularly a tradition for locals, and it took less than a minute for it to disappear. 

At 10.30pm on Tuesday, the night before Buddha’s birthday, about 100 people rushed to collect as much of the blessed peace rice as possible to take it home and cook it, so the family can enjoy a peaceful and healthy year.

Footprint of Cheung Chau, a Facebook page, posted a video taken by Colour Li, which was shared more than 2,000 times.

The bun scramble is not for the faint-hearted, with 60 foot-high towers covered in blessed buns.

Those who are allowed to climb the towers must grab as many as possible to ensure good health for the family. But these days the climb is more like a badge of honor with the winner taking a bow as well as good fortune.

In 1978, the traditional bamboo towers collapsed that saw the tradition banned until 2005. Nowadays, the bun scramble continues, but the towers are now made of metal.