Guide for Traditional Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival 2017

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Buddhist and Taoist traditions state that on there is one month in the lunar year where the spiritual world and the world of the living unite. This means that the deceased roam around among the living for one month. This month is called Hungry Ghost Month. This year 2017 it will be celebrated from the 22nd of August until the 19th of September of the Gregorian calendar.

It is said that the ghosts that come to earth are the ancestors of the ones that did not give a proper funeral ritual. They come searching to be feed and entertained by their living relatives. This tradition is practiced by many communities in Asian countries such as China, Japan, Singapore, and Malaysia.

During the 15th or 14th day of this month is the Hungry Ghost festival. The believers of this old tradition during this time specifically as well as the rest of the month do as best they can to please their hungry ancestor's ghosts. There is a belief that if the ghosts aren't satisfied they will issue bad fortune over their living relatives.

They feed them by placing food for them three or more times a day. Traditional offerings include rice, noodles and various fruits and meats. They issue entertainment for them as well. Such as Chinese opera, concerts, shows, and dramas for them to enjoy.

There is also the tradition of burning paper images of valuable thing such as cars, houses, and televisions as well as various forms of joss paper. Joss paper is believed to be the sort of currency of the dead. The offering of joss paper to their ancestors assures they will be comfortable and content in the afterlife.

There are also ceremonies performed by a priest in order to give them peace and liberate them from their suffering. They set altars indoors and outdoors for them as well and burn joss sticks as an offering to their deceased ancestors.

 

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