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Hungry Ghost Festival 2019

Feed the hungry ghosts in Hong Kong

Hungry Ghost Festival in Hong Kong 2019 - Best Time
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© Wilda Fong

According to Chinese believes, Ghost Month is the seventh month of the Lunar calendar. It is a time when hungry restless ghosts wander around the living world and for people to make different offerings to appease them. The Hungry Ghost Festival marks the middle of Ghost Month, and most of the activities are held particularly on this day. The festival is held at about 60 places all over Hong Kong.

Visitors can see small roadside fires, where believers burn paper money to gratify hungry spirits. Chinese opera, incense offerings, and dragon and lion dances with plenty of noise to scare away hungry ghosts are held in parks and plazas throughout the city.

Hungry Ghost Festival in Hong Kong - Best Season 2019

During the Hungry Ghost Festival in Hong Kong, people burn special origami paper gifts which look like clothing, household items and electronics, so don’t be surprised if you smell fire on the street or in your apartment block premises. Special sheds are installed all over Hong Kong so that believers can worship the gods and make offerings. At night, operas are performed everywhere on the streets, but the front row of seats is always empty because it is reserved for the ghosts.

The festival was named part of China’s intangible cultural heritage. Its origin dates back more than 2,000 years. It is widely celebrated by the Chiu Chow community in Hong Kong, which traces their roots to Guangdong province. Hungry Ghosts Month is celebrated by both Buddhists and Taoists. During the time of the festival, it's not recommended to wear black or red, as these colors attract ghosts. Avoid the number 4 as it sounds like the word "death" in Cantonese. Also one is to avoid water and not to sleep facing a mirror because it is believed to attract evil spirits.

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