Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Month of Hungry Ghosts鬼节/中元节

Hungry Ghosts Festival is a traditional Chinese festival celebrated by Chinese in many countries. The Seventh Lunar Month of the year is the Ghost Month and the Thirteenth Day is the Ghost Day.

In ghosts’ month, ghosts and spirits (wondering spirits and those of deceased ancestors) will come out from underworld. They will enjoy stage shows, enjoy food, drinks and goodies offer to them, as well as visiting their living descendants and friends. Many living descendants will pay respect to their ancestors too.

In ghost day, three realms of heaven, hell and living are open. Thus, many Taoists and Buddhists will perform rituals for the sufferings of the deceased. It is a kind of ancestor worship to show their filial piety to the ancestor. At the same time it’s also a kind gesture for offering those deceased without living descendants (wondering ghosts).

Activities include preparing food offerings, burning incense and joss paper, as well as Paper Mache such as clothes, shoes, cars, TV and other fine goods for the visiting spirits of the ancestors.

Temporary performance stages (七月歌台) set up for arties to sing and dance. are set up for arties to sing and dance. Some traditional opera shows and puppet shows are available too. First row of empty audience seats are reserved for the spirits/ghosts. Elaborate meals would be served with empty seats too for each of the deceased in the family treating the deceased as if they are still living.

We must feed them, pray for them, buy them gift, entertain them….and most importantly….show them respect.