The Hungry Ghost Festival

Celebrating Hungry Ghost Festival in Taiping, Malaysia...

Celebrating Hungry Ghost Festival in Sungai Bakap, Penang...

The Hungry Ghost Festival or Zhōngyuán Jié is a traditional Chinese festival which falls on the 14th day of the seventh lunar month. The Ghost Festival supposedly has roots in the Buddhist festival Ullambana . On this day, ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower world. Therefore, contrary to Qingming Festival where the living descendants pay homage to their ancestors, on Hungry Ghost Day, the deceased visit the living. The visitors will be offered food and hell money and special prayers will be held.Operas shows and puppet shows are also put together at temples or Chinese Associations for both the living and non-living although nowadays in counries like Malaysia and Singapore, these shows are rapidly replaced by modern variety shows featuring singers in modern costumes singing pop songs. This festival has special meaning for all Buddhists because in the Tang Dynasty, the Buddhist festival Ullambana and traditional festivities were mixed and celebrated on one day.

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