Hungry Ghost Celebrations Hugely Downsized

loading The Da Shi Ye (Ghost King) is placed at the centre of the altar. Photo: Ch'ng Kiah Kiean.

THE SEVENTH MONTH of the Lunar calendar is often referred to as the month of the “Hungry Ghost”. Believers hold rituals and ceremonies to pay respect, and a great variety of offerings are made, to wandering spirits during their month-long return to the human plane. In Penang the Hungry Ghost Festival dates back more than two centuries. But with the establishment of Persatuan Teong Guan Pulau Pinang in the 1970s, the celebrations are better coordinated and have become more uniformed. The association currently manages about 400 committees. Notwithstanding its cultural significance, the festival also holds important social values. Each year, one Chinese ...


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