web analytics
RECRUITMENT
WE WANT YOU!
We are looking for passionate people to be part of the HUNGZAI Correspondent Team. If you think you have what it takes,
CLICK HERE NOW!
Story Categories
Army Story
Beach
Building
Camp
Cemetery
Chalet
Cinema
Festival
HDB
Hospital
Hotel
Kampong
Office
Pocong
Pontianak
School
Spiritual
Strange Incident
Toilet
Stories By Country
Australia
Brunei
Canada
China
Hong Kong
India
Indonesia
Japan
Korea
Malaysia
Philippines
Taiwan
Thailand
United Kingdom
United States
Vietnam
Home > Horror News > Local Horror News > Hungry Ghost Month
Hungry Ghost Month
By: RSS/News Feeds

A man holds joss sticks at an altar during the hungry ghost festival in Singapore July 30, 2006. Businesses may be hit by a double whammy this year due to an oddity in the Chinese lunar calendar that results in two ‘seventh’ months — also known as the hungry ghost festival, when the gates of hell open and the dead walk among the living.

It’s the time of the year many Chinese businesses dread — the hungry ghost festival, when families avoid moving house, couples postpone their wedding plans and tourists shy away from beach resorts.

But businesses may be hit by a double whammy this year due to an oddity in the Chinese lunar calendar that results in two “seventh” months — also known as the hungry ghost festival, when the gates of hell open and the dead walk among the living.

The festival is widely observed by Chinese in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia, home to many Taoists and Buddhists, who believe that the living are supposed to please the ghosts by offering them food and burning paper effigies of homes, maids and other daily items for spirits to use in the after-life.

For those who maintain these traditional beliefs, all sorts of activities may grind to a halt.

In modern but still superstitious Hong Kong, people have begun to wind down their usually frenzied nightlife.

“All unusual activities must stop. I have ordered my husband to go straight home after work,” said Winnie To, an executive at a foreign company.

The peculiarity of the double seventh month occurs because the lunar calendar assigns an extra month every three years to balance the lunar and solar cycle. This year, the Ghost Month runs from July 25 to August 23, with the leap seventh month stretching from August 24 to September 21.

In Taiwan, property and car sales usually enter a lull period during the festival, prompting retailers to provide generous offers or discounts to try to boost sales by appealing to the younger generation which is less superstitious.

“When we were young, our parents used to tell us not to go to the beach during the “hungry ghosts” festival because they were afraid that we might be captured by ghosts in the water,” said Kate Peng, 32, who owns a drinks stall in Taipei.

Few people in mainland China, especially in urban areas and among the younger generation, follow ghost month traditions. Many superstitions and traditional practices were stamped out during the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, because the Communists frowned on them as relics of China’s feudal past.

RARE OPPORTUNITY

But it’s not all gloom for Chinese during these two months.

For some Singapore gamblers, this is a rare opportunity to hunt for lucky numbers to play the “4-Digits” (4D) lottery.

“People will often use this chance to ask ghosts for lottery numbers,” said Lee Inn Peng, a Taoist medium who has been practicing for 21 years. “These people are desperate, and will try anything. Sometimes they are at the graveyards with talismans, burning offerings asking for numbers.”

In Singapore, where 75 percent of the population is ethnic Chinese, business associations often run street performances, known as “getai,” to entertain the living and the dead.

Apart from inviting popular singers from overseas to perform, these “getai” shows also include auctions for auspicious items such as oranges, pineapples and charcoal — which are associated with wealth in Chinese, and which are stacked on gold-tinted plates and elaborately wrapped in red ribbons.

“Some people will bid up to S$10,000 ($6,300) for these items because they believe it will bring them good luck,” said Aaron Tan, who runs a company that organizes street performances.

Low said these items are usually packed with a slip of paper with several sets of four numbers, so that winners of the bid can use those numbers to bet in the 4D lottery.

“There are people who have struck lottery on these numbers and believe it is time to pay back the spirits who have helped them, so they don’t mind paying a high price at the auctions,” Low said.

Similar Stories

SBS Bus Ghost Caught On Camera - Local Horror News
A Shin Min Daily reader captured a 'ghost' on his camera phone late on Sunday and sent the images to the paper. According to the Chinese daily, the reader, Mr Chen Lai Fu, ...
Tales From The Crypt In Singapore - Local Horror News
Wong Shun Feng says he has seen spirits, been afflicted by supernatural phenomena and taken advice from gods -- and that it's all just part of the job. Affectionately known to his friends ...
4-D Punters In Choa Chu Kang Cemetery - Local Horror News
HOW far would some Singaporeans go to try and strike it rich at the next lottery draw? Very far, it appears. Even to the extent of seeking help from the dead. For ...
Swiped By Mystery Tom Raider - Local Horror News
This is something that has baffled pub manager Leslie Ye. The Muslim tomb in Chinatown, which has an inscription: Sharifah Rogayah 1891, is located just behind his pub, Cherry Pink. Mr Ye, ...
Fear factor - Local Horror News
Singaporeans love to be scared. At least that's what the sales figures of local ghost story books are saying. NO DEAD END: Books by Singaporean authors usually get a dead response from readers, ...
FEEDBACK
Found any WEBSITE ERRORS?
Let us know!
RECENT STORIES
°Negeri Sembilan Kampong
°Watch Your Mouth
°Pox
°The Bathroom
°Army Camp Duty
°Don’t Step On It
°Lady In Grey
°Previous Car Owner
°Genting Highland
°The Lonely Senior
MORE STORIES | SUBMIT STORIES
RECENT NEWS
°Ghost Stewardess Seen At Suvarnabhumi Air Crash
°SBS Bus Ghost Caught On Camera
°Tales From The Crypt In Singapore
°Ghost Hunters Intrigued By Spirit At Bistro
°Ghosts, Aliens And Us
°South Lyon’s Ghost Hunters Search For Answers
°National Ghost
°Experts Unearth Srebrenica Bodies In Ghost Village
°Women Aren’t Afraid of Ghost
°Visits From The Deceased
MORE NEWS
Top 10 Stories
°Bedok Famous Haunting
°Pulau Tekong True Fact
°Haunted Schools 1
°Rape Case
°True Ghost Story
°Red House
°Fishing Ghost Stories
°Escape Theme Park
°A School Horror
°SAF Changi Chalet
MORE TOP STORIES
Top 10 Horror News
°SBS Bus Ghost Caught On Camera
°Singapore Death Flats
°Tales From The Crypt In Singapore
°The Old Cathay Cinema Building
°Urban Legends
°Superstition In Singapore
°4-D Punters In Choa Chu Kang Cemetery
°Spirits In Malaysia Jungle
°The Himuro Mansion Haunting
°Women Aren’t Afraid of Ghost
MORE TOP NEWS
SPONSOR
FIND US ON FACEBOOK
About Us | Contact | Privacy Policy @ Hungzai.com 2013 | Singapore Web Hosting