People burn paper offerings and incense on the streets to appease the ghosts during the Hungry Ghosts Festival. Photo: SCMPPeople burn paper offerings and incense on the streets to appease the ghosts during the Hungry Ghosts Festival. Photo: SCMP
People burn paper offerings and incense on the streets to appease the ghosts during the Hungry Ghosts Festival. Photo: SCMP
Lisa Lim
Opinion

Opinion

Language Matters by Lisa Lim

How we got ‘joss’ paper and ‘joss’ sticks to appease those hungry ghosts

  • Derived from Portuguese, ‘joss’ arrived in China via Java, travelling along centuries-old trade routes
  • It has its origins in the word ‘God’ and came to be used colloquially to mean ‘luck’

People burn paper offerings and incense on the streets to appease the ghosts during the Hungry Ghosts Festival. Photo: SCMPPeople burn paper offerings and incense on the streets to appease the ghosts during the Hungry Ghosts Festival. Photo: SCMP
People burn paper offerings and incense on the streets to appease the ghosts during the Hungry Ghosts Festival. Photo: SCMP
READ FULL ARTICLE