A Chinese Halloween

Yesterday, my niece proudly showed me a paper box she had made. Beautiful isn't it, she asked? The box was for a mooncake. Oh, boy. The mooncake festival is not quite right here yet, but already, she is planning on making mooncakes. Right now, it is more of the Hungry Ghost Festival.The Ghost Festival ( zhōngyuánjié) is a traditional Chinese festival celebrated by Chinese in many countries. In the Chinese calendar, the Ghost Festival is on the 14th night of the seventh lunar month. The fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar is called Ghost Day and the seventh month is the Ghost Month. Ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower realm around this time and this makes it sound rather spooky like Halloween, doesn't it? Only difference is people don't celebrate by dressing up macabrely. Instead, prayers and rituals are performed for the restless spirits. Activities during the month would include preparing ritualistic food offerings, burning incense, and burning joss paper and even papier-mache form of material items such as clothes, jewellery and other fine goods for the unfortunate spirits. Good thoughts would liven up the spirits, woudn't it?


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