seventh month

and so today's the start of what we local Chinese call; "Seventh Month" or "The Hungry Ghost Festival" (鬼月), in which the Gates of Hell are opened, and where ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower world to visit mortal earth ...


which also means a lunar month-long period of burnt paper hell money ashes littering the sidewalks, and of fragrant joss and incense filling the air, where temporary street-side Wayang stages are set-up and Getai (歌台) fill the heartland atmos with music and songs, all to entertain and appease the spirits ... **a note to anyone attending these "musical events": if you see the amidst the thronging crowds and wonder why no one ever seats in the first / front empty row? do not attempt to sit on them - becoz they have been "reserved" for the spirits :p

i've heard stories from friends-of-friends-of-friends, where folks with "the third eye" (Yin1Yang2Yen3) would leave for holidays to European/western countries during this period ... becoz whenever they walk the streets at night, they will see the spirits gorging on the candles and food offerings mortal folks prepare, along the sidewalks, where regular people do not ... and the spirits know they can be seen, and they'd point and laugh in return ...

other "warnings" passed down from generation to generation, especially to kids:
(which i suspect are used to threaten them to be nice :p)
01. don't go swimming at night, or you'll be dragged away.
02. don't stay out after nightfall, or you'll get/be lost.
03. don't go kicking piles of darkened-ashes (remnants of burnt "hell money/notes") intentionally, or you'll anger the spirits...

WHAT-IS: "The Ghost Festival is a traditional Chinese festival and holiday, which is celebrated by Chinese in many countries. In the Chinese calendar (a lunisolar calendar), the Ghost Festival is on the 14th night of the seventh lunar month.

In Chinese tradition, the seventh month in the Chinese calendar is called the Ghost Month (鬼月), in which ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower world to visit earth. The Ghost Festival is the climax of a series of the Ghost Month celebrations. Traditionally, ancestor worshiping was an important part of the festivals, with activities including preparing ritualistic offering food, and burning hell money and bags containing cloth to please the visiting ghosts and spirits of the ancestors, as well as other deities. Other activities include, burying and releasing miniature paper boats and lanterns on water, which signifies "giving directions to the lost ghosts and spirits of the ancestors and other deities." A very solemn festival of ancestor worshiping, the festival nevertheless represents a connection between the ancestors and the descendants, the living and the dead, earth and heaven, as well as body and soul.
The Ghost Festival shares some similarities with the predominantly Mexican observance of El Día de los Muertos. Due to theme of ghosts and spirits, the festival is sometimes also known as the Chinese Halloween, though many have debated the difference between the two."


toybot studios said…
great pic! spirits of the dead walking amongst the bustling streets of singapore!
toysrevil said…
LOL thanks buddy! :)))
Andrea said…
I agree, great photo!
toysrevil said…
oh gosh, thanks Andrea! :)))