Thursday, 14 August 2008

Hungry Ghost Festival (Pesta Hantu Lapar)

Today, or rather, yesterday, considering that it's now past midnight, was the 15th day of the 7th month of the Lunar calendar. This day marks the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts.

It is believed by Taoists in China and other parts of Asia like Malaysia and Singapore that on the 1st day of the 7th month of the Lunar calendar, the spirits of the dead will be released from their cells in hell and allowed to roam the earth for a month. So those who have departed ancestors would offer prayers, food, hell money, paper cars, paper houses and clothes to their departed ones.

The believers would also put up live stage shows during this month to entertain the spirits. It is therefore quite common to see the players and singers performing to rows of empty seats. It takes a brave man or woman to sit at the front row, for he or she might be sitting on the lap of a ghost!

It is also common to see roadsides littered with prayer items such as food, hell money and incense.These are offered to appease the wandering spirits so that these spirits would not cause mischief to them or their family.

During this month, it is not unusual to hear the elderly folks caution their children against going out after dark, or driving past a cemetery. Superstition or logical deduction? It's your call.

Related post:

Ghost Festival and World Cat Day


3 comments:

din said...

[quote=blackie007]the spirits of the dead will be released from their cells in hell and allowed to roam the earth for a month. So those who had departed ancestors would offer prayers, food, hell money, paper cars, paper houses and clothes to their departed ones.[/quote]

Vampire, wah like this, all the while their saudara really knew it that their ancestors will be in hell ever since the saudara masih hidup arr..that means bila mati saja confirm go to hell one.Like that arr...me conpius edy...
I tot when the saudara dying poeple will always says...
I pray for you to go heaven,see you in heaven like that.
But honestly they really know how to treat their saudara from hell with this music and all,even got 1 vampire oso dont like to here the boom boom sound from the stage...hahaha

why not they just pray like normal and cry la what not thinking of the passed family hoping that the god give them some good life after the dead.

sorry arr if this thing offended anyone...I just want to know oni..bcos never before I take knowledge about this hungry ghost festival..

sure its not a ghost hunting festival arr..if not for sure i m goin to put in my suits and go ghostbuster...hehehe

Blackie Bond said...

hahaha, Din, you raised a good point. I am just as confused as you. If everyone thinks their loved ones who died are going to heaven, then why do they believe that the spirits of the dead are released from hell to roam for a month on earth?

I have relatives who are Taoists, and they'll prepare all the food that their loved ones like to eat and offer those food outside their main door.

When I asked them why they put the food outside the door, they said so that their loved ones don't step inside the house, just in case when the 7th month ends, their loved ones refuse to return to hell. (!?)Yeah, I'm as puzzled here as you probably are when you read this.

din said...

If I am the hantu, before going back to hell I cekik all of them for treating me as such.....
then slowly wisphers to them....
joint me to helllllllll...
then sepak them at their montot piak piak and mumbling...

...:arrr why now give me makan outside, tengok music and karaoke outside...call me you loved ones..
until they all know how to respect the dead ones...ahahahaa