Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Hungry Ghost festival
The seventh month of the Chinese calendar is the month of the hungry ghosts. During this time, the gates of the underworld open and the ghosts are allowed to walk the earth. To keep the ghosts happy (and probably from doing any harm to the living), people make offerings to the ghosts and there are street performances, like music, plays and Chinese opera to keep the ghosts (and the living) entertained.
So these days I can see some of my neighbors burn incense and light candles outside our block. The burned incense is made of paper and often resembles offerings to the ghosts, e.g. a car or a watch.
Unfortunately I haven't found time to attend any of the street performances, but I would have my difficulties to follow, as the performances are usually in Hokkien.
My knowledge of Chinese believes is still far from perfect, so I apologize for any mistakes in my explanations, please feel free to highlight any errors.