The hungry and restless

7 Sep 2013

The seventh month in the lunar calendar is when restless spirits roam the earth, according to traditional Chinese beliefs. Many Chinese communities in southern China - including  Hong Kong - Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore make efforts to appease these transient ghosts, while "feeding" their own ancestors - particularly on the 15th day, which is the Yu Lan or Hungry Ghost Festival.

In neighbourhoods across Hong Kong, during this month, many Chiu Chow people will occupy parks, piazzas, pitches and other sufficiently spacious places to offer sacrifices to their ancestors and the wandering ghosts, burning incense and hell money, distributing free rice, and performing live Chinese operas and Chiu Chow-style dramas for ghosts in need of some entertainment.