Chinese Hungry Ghost festival

Chinese Hungry Ghost festival or Yuen Laan, as it is also known, is held on the 15th night of the 7th lunar month. The 15th day of the same month is called the Ghost day. According to Gregorian calendar in 2014 the Hungry Ghost festival is held on the 10th of August. In the south of China the festival is organized on the 14th night. Traditionally whole 7th month is called the Ghost month.

The Chinese believe that during the 7th lunar month the gate of Hell is opened. So, the ghosts of deceased can arrive to Earth. People make food offerings, burn incense and joss paper. It is also interesting to mention the objects like paper clothes or jewellery that are being made for the ghosts of family ancestors.

Offerings to the ghosts
Offerings to the ghosts

When setting a family meal empty seats for the deceased are placed. In some parts of China people make small paper boats and lanterns and put them down the river. There is also a tradition of making small fire along the road. False paper money is usually burned. These fires are made to ease the return of ghosts.

Food offerings usually include chicken or pork. After the rite this meat is eaten by the family members. In Hong Kong and surrounding area people put rice and fruit (apple, orange) along the road.