Producing a sense of meaningful place: evidence from a cultural festival in Hong Kong

Chammy Y.L. Lau, Yiping Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Festivals are social and cultural phenomena that represent the living culture of a local community. However, studies on festivals have mainly focused on the economic contributions to the community and place. Relevant studies that probe into the intertwined relationship between festivals and uniqueness of place and locale are lacking. To fill this gap, this study explores the extent to which festivals contribute to the construction of a sense of place and its respective locality. Based on a case study of the Cheung Chau Bun Festival, a community-based local festival in Hong Kong, this study examines place-related conceptions associated with community festivals. In-depth interviews were conducted to investigate local residents' perceptions of festival meanings and the underlying relationships with the construction of place uniqueness. Findings suggest that festivals are among the possible elements that can contribute to the ontological construction of the place. Three underlying themes of festival meanings, namely, religion and heritage, social bonding, and imagined locality, are crucial elements attributing to the sense of place that eventually shape the identification of a unique place. Therefore, festivals are a potential channel through which the history of a community can be narrated and a sense of place uniqueness can be established.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-77
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Tourism and Cultural Change
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2015


  • Cheung Chau Bun Festival
  • Hong Kong
  • cultural festival
  • place uniqueness
  • sense of place


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