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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Hungry Ghost Festival

It's that time of the year again, so I'm republishing this old post for pallies who missed it the first time round.

August ( the 7th month of the Chinese Lunar Calender) is the month of the Hungry Ghost Festival. The Taoist Chinese believe that for the entire month, the gates of Hades are open and spirits are allowed to wander the earth to seek food and avenge those who had wronged them.

Here are some 'spooky' facts to share about the festival.

The hungry ghosts will visit their loved ones and a lavish spread is prepared to welcome them.

In Penang, roadsides are lined with giant joss sticks

Prayers are offered to the deceased and joss sticks and paper offerings are burned to appease the ghosts. These offerings take the form of paper replicas of money notes, credit-cards, houses , luxury cars, designer bags, flat-screen TVs, etc ( hell, even in Hades you have to keep up with the Joneses ) because the Taoists believe that these offerings when burned will reach the ghosts and help them live comfortably in their after life

A paper car

Paper cell phones with charger included - What's the area code for hell?

Paper replicas of LV bags

Paper designer shoes

Sexy paper lingerie for the dead.

Paper booze

Just because you have expired doesn't mean the partying has to end!
There are stuff like paper viagra and paper effigies of heavily made-up female escorts too. Paper cigarettes are also available!! A male buddy said he'd go to heaven for the climate and hell for the company!

Paper Laptop

Hell Bank Notes - Only these are legal tender in Sin City!!

In Singapore and Malaysia, shows and concerts are performed on outdoor stages in some areas to entertain the ‘wandering ghosts.’

Note that the front row seats are always left empty for the 'guests'.

A 'Condominium' gift for the dead

Paper McDonald's

There are rules to observe too.

Swimming is prohibited lest you be drowned by a ghost.
Children are advised to return home early and not to wander around alone at night. This belief is due to the reason that the wandering ghosts might possess children.

15 days after the feast, the festival will be over and the ghosts return to the lower realms.

So, if you are out alone at an unearthly hour, do be careful. You might bump into someone .. er something very hungry or angry!!
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

30 comments:

Lori said...

Hello to you sweet lady. I love your blog. I really love those paper lingere's you have pictures of as well. H O T

I hope you are well? If I have not told you yet, I love that mouse at the top of your blog, so cute!!

TMWW said...

Wow Veronica, that was really informative! I have never heard of the Hungry Ghost Festival. You learn something new every day here thanks to you sweetness! That is just too awesome! If I ever make it to China in this lifetime, I want to be sure to visit during this time! So fascinating, and I love the paper stuff for the ghosts! Area code for hell, tee hee!!!!

Kelly's Ideas said...

incredible.

Kelly
http://www.ivebecomemymother.com

Jane Doe said...

That sounds like a fun festival! Thanks for the info, it was very interesting. On the Pagan Samhain (which was renamed Halloween) the veil between the worlds is thinnest and the dead can visit our world, so at dinner we leave a plate of food out for deceased relatives that may be visiting.

Tami said...

Bestest buddy these are wonderful! I wish I had talent to make just a SMALL bag. LOL or car.. or anything else! LOL

ahappyhippy mom said...

The Hungry Ghost Festival looks fun! I especially like the giant joss sticks and the sexy paper lingerie offering. Too cool!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I'm sure that it keeps the fire department pretty busy. Are the paper gifts purchased from a store or are they handmade? Does any of the goodies get eaten by the deceased or does it just sit there for the 15 days?

That's so interesting!

Momma Such said...

Wow, interesting! I had no idea.

yonca said...

Hi Veronica,
I've learned a new thing from your site again. Increadible!!!
I've never heard of the Hungry Ghost Festival before. It looks really fun!

Once A Mother said...

those are probably the only louis vuitton bags i can afford! great post again!

Lin said...

Very cool post today, Veronica!! I loved learning about this festival. I'm digging the paper shoes and lingerie!! And could you grab me one of those paper cell phones for Em--maybe she could "text" to some ghosts and it won't cost her minutes!

Grissell said...

Veronica I love your blog! :) I didn't know that. I have to agree with Lori that paper lingere too funny!

I found it very interesting!

Sharon Culbertson said...

I've never heard of the Hungry Ghost Festival, wheres it at

RoseBelle said...

We can't do all those paper burning here. The police would come and arrest us. LOL!

I just read that lunar date 7-15 is the day Buddha designated as the day we pay respect to our parents and parents of our past 7 lives. We should offer food offerings and prayers to lessen the karmic offenses that they accumulated. If any of them became wandering ghosts, then our prayers on this date will help them crossover. Somehow, the belief that hell gate opens around this time.

RoseBelle said...

My friend, who used to not believe in this kind of stuff, became a believer when one of her friends was visiting Hong Kong around this time of the year. Her guy friend was out late one night and as he was walking down a steep stairway, he saw a couple walking up. The way they went up was odd so he turned around to look at them. He saw that they were floating up and their feet were not touching the steps. Needless to say, the guy ran as fast as his feet could carry him. He became a believer of the gate of Hell story ever since.

Tina said...

that all sounds so spooky, but i love the tale of the celebration and the paper gifts. really fascinating.

Mom et al said...

"What's the area code for Hell?" HAAA! That is awesome.

This reminds me of the Festival of the Dead in the States which we have in my neck of the woods in Salem, MA. It goes on throughout the second half of October, and while a lot of it is sensationalized for tourist season it is still based on the thought process that the dead will come and visit you during that time of year.

Cindy said...

Great Blog. Thanks for the follow. Following back.

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Dirt On The Rocks said...

this post was very interesting. i'm part chinese, and i'm not quite sure if it's just my family being a bit more americanized that i never knew this, but this is a great fact. i learned something new today!

LambAround said...

Well I hope you are happy. The ending for this post has left me feeling quite a bit freaked out! ;)

Annie (Lady M) x said...

Brilliant post! Because I go to China a lot, I love reading about their customs and stuff. And that paper McDonalds - priceless!

Shah Wharton said...

Wow - I never heard of this before. Its fascination stuff. And you have some great pics of their paper offerings to the dead. How superb. Loving the shoes, undies and handbags 'for the ladies'! ;D Great post.

Thanks for linking up.

Shah from http://wordsinsync.blogspot.com/2011/08/weekend-creation-blog-hop-plus-2-poems.html

Laurie said...

How interesting!! I had never heard of the Hungry Ghost Festival...Such lovely images to go along with your article, too! Really enjoyed this ...so happy you chose to repost or I would surely have missed hearing of it.
I'm dropping by from Shah's Weekend Creative Hop.
Laurie
Laurie's Thoughts & Reviews Creative Weekend Post

Nora B. Peevy said...

Hi,

I hopped over from The Weekend Creation Hop. Your blog title makes me giggle -- very creative. I love other culture's customs surrounding death and the afterlife, etc. I had never heard of this festival before. Thank you for sharing something interesting and also inspiring for a dark fiction writer. I have ideas brewing in my tiny writer head now!

I am a huge fan of Day of the Dead and other customs. The Chinese ghosts from what I have read in Chinese fiction, are not very friendly a lot of the time. I guess if you're exacting revenge, you wouldn't be. LOL

Happy hopping this weekend. Hope to see you around my blog.

-Nora

Erin O'Riordan said...

Wonderful tradition, and really cool photos!

Sarah@teammomlife said...

I always love learning about different cultural traditions. This sounds fun and interesting. Thanks for sharing all of this!#KCACOLS

Ger Walsh said...

This is so interesting and yet creepy. But it's a beautiful celebration #KCACOLS

Bridie By The Sea said...

My family are from Hong Kong and I love these traditions - so lovely to share! Thanks for linking up to #KCACOLS hope you come back again next Sunday! x

Sarah Arthurwears said...

So bizzare! But I'd love the paper food and car for Arthur's role play lol!!!! Thanks for linking up to #KCACOLS hope you can come back again next Sunday

Someone's Mum said...

Wow I had actually never heard of this. How amazingly creative and skilled are all those paper items! Really interesting. #KCACOLS

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