Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Hungry Ghost Festival
The Ghost Festival each year is held on the 7th lunar month in Asia. The Buddists, Taoists, Chinese folk religion believers see this as the day the decease visit the living. They believe both the realms of Heaven and Hell are open that day. So, rituals are performed. Such as food offerings, burning incense and joss paper(which is a papier-mache form of material)shaped in to objects, gold, and other fine goods for the spirits. Elaborate meals are prepared by the families with empty seats to feed the spirits that may visit. Even shows are done for the restless spirit to watch. A whole first row is open for them to use.
Other festivals will use paper boats or lanterns on water to give the lost ghosts a direction to go.
The origin can be traced back to India. It's believed that some spirits are reborn in the "lower realm". Which causes the spirit to become a "hungry ghost".
The festival runs a month long worth of prayers and feeding the ghosts so they may find rest. Or, just to leave the living alone.