Monday, September 6, 2010

Hungry Ghost Festival

Beside Mid autumn festival (also known as Festival moon cakes), Chinese people also celebrate Hungry Ghost Festival which falls on the 7th month of the lunar calendar. It is believed that the gates of hell will be open on this month. Ghosts will be free to roam around on earth.

So, what do you do during the Hungry Ghost Festival?
If on Festival moon cakes, we offer mooncake as the special food, on Hungry Ghost Festival we will have to make a lot of offerings to the ghost. Offerings come in term of food, hell note (fake money) & burning joss sticks.

Some will make offerings to their relative that have deceased by burning paper houses, shirts, money, hell notes and more.

These paper offerings are interesting. They can come in the form of houses, maids, LV bags, iphone, shirt, shoes, bicycle, tv, dvd and anything you can think of. You can even pay somebody who is in this kind of business to customize anything for you.

I really want to take pictures of some of these paper products and hell notes for this lens. However, I dun think I am comfortable doing it. Sorry.

You can watch a ge tai during the hungry ghost festival. These performance are setup on temporary stage around the housing estate. You cannot sit on the first row at a ge tai because these seat are for the ghost. These performances are usually held at night for the ghost.

You can participate in an auction dinner if there is one. It is believe that these items in the auction are blessed and will bring you good luck if you win them home.

Hungry Ghost Festival Superstition & Myths
1. Do not wear anything black so that ghost will not come close to you.
2. Do not wear anything that has a bell on it. Example, bracelet or charms with bells. Bells attract ghost.
3. Do not hang out your clothes at night. New ghost that are being blown onto your clothes will not be able to come out. Wearing these clothes will not be good for you.
4. All clothing should be kept inside the house before 5pm.
5. Umbrellas should be kept close and outside the house. No umbrellas should be kept inside the house.
6. Do not go out at night.
7. No swimming during the 7th month. The water ghosts will pull you into the water.
8. Do not go to the beach on the 7th month.
9. Do not let anyone pad on your shoulder. If someone does that to you, do not turn and look.
10. You should not whistle, sing or scream during the 7th month. You will attract ghost.
11. No wedding/engagement preparation during the 7th month. Of course, no wedding and engagement to be held on the 7th month.
12. Do not buy any property, do any renovation, or move your house during the 7th month.
13. Do not turn and look when someone calls your name at night.
14. Do not step or cross over ashes and offering for the ghost.
15. Do not comment/complain/feedback on the smell or burnt incense paper flying all over the place.
16. Do not travel oversea during the 7th month.

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