I wanted to blog about Hungry Ghost Festival (中元节), but have been sitting on it for one whole month! Finally, on the last day of the Hungry Ghost Festival, we managed to take some interesting photos.
Gee, feel kinda funny to write something related to ghosts and spirits in the silence of the night. For the sake you, I shall blog on :S …
What is Hungry Ghost Festival? Hungry Ghost Festival is one of the major festivals in Chinese culture. It is a month-long festival celebrated on the 7th Lunar month and this year, it fell on 1st August. On that day, it is believed that the “Gates of Hell” are opened and the dead will return to the human world. During this period, many Chinese will try to AVOID moving in to a new house, getting married, staying out late etc.
The food on the table are offerings for the restless souls wandering around during the one-month long Hungry Ghost Festival. My friend told me his friend who is able to see “things” saw those spirits grabbing the food to eat during the 7th Lunar month. -_-”
Sounds scary? Well, to appease the wandering spirits to prevent them from entering homes and causing disturbances, food such as chicken, rice, vegetables are placed along the roadside and street corners to making offerings to the spirits. Bundles of hell bank notes are burnt as offerings to the spirits for them to spend in hell. These hell bank notes come in different denominations! They are hell lots of big notes!! =P
Preparing before burning the offerings to the “brothers” and “sisters”.
Lighting up the joss sticks.
This is the time you get the chance to burn millions of “Dollars”!
Just hope that no one was looking at us strangely while we were taking photos of this prayer process, and most importantly, we wouldn’t get any FLOATING GHOSTLY IMAGE!! eeeek
So much about food and hell notes offerings to the “hungry ghosts”, how about entertainment for the month-long “holiday” in the human world? Here comes the “Getai” (Chinese pronounciation of “歌台”) which literally means “song stage”. Getai are performances such as Chinese operas or popular hits in Chinese dialets held on make-shift stages. The performers usually wear elaborated costumes to sing and dance to entertain the spirits! Of course, many humans love to watch Getai too! =P
Nowadays, Getai in Singapore are mostly performed by Hokkien singers and entertainers. On a certain day, dinner will be held with auction of auspicious items and many will bid for these items, hoping that they will bring prosperity for the year.
Who cares! You dare to wear, I dare to shoot! =P ~ It’s a she-man.
This little singer is younger than 4 years old, but she has a good memory; she is able to memorize a song within a day! This little girl sang 4 Chinese and Hokkien (dialect) songs for the night. Some audience gave her red packets filled with money (I supposed!).
The little girl handing over the red packets to her mother for keep.
Getai performances are supposed to entertain the spirits during Hungry Ghost Festival, but as you can see here, humans are being entertained too!!! So far, did you see any “thing” that is not supposed to be in the photos? =P
At the backstage of Getai, the make-shift stage.
The Hungry Ghost Festival officially ended on 30 August in 2008. The upcoming major Chinese Festival is the Mid-Autumn Festival, the day when the moon is at its fullest and brightest, Chinese families gather around eating mooncakes, appreciating beautiful lanterns and children carrying brightly lit lanterns.
Read about the beautiful Mid-Autumn Festival in Singapore =)
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