Devotees all across the city here celebrated the Hungry Ghost Festival this evening in ritual-packed activities that included the burning of joss paper and paper replicas.
The festival is celebrated by the Chinese community, particularly business owners and Taoists, as they pray for blessings and good fortune.
Food offerings for the hungry ghosts can be seen placed by the pavements across the city, as well as candles and small flags fixed at roadside to ‘guide’ the ghosts to a place where the food offerings are placed.
The Hungry Ghost Festival, also known as Zhong Yuan Jie, marks the highlight of the Ghost Month that begins in the seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar or normally in August of the Western calendar. The festival falls on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month.
Elaborate ceremonies would sometimes be held at markets or temples to appease the wandering ghosts and avoid bad luck.
The Ghost Month is believed to be the period when the gates of heaven and hell are open, and the spirits of the deceased can roam the land of the living.
Traditionally, the Chinese community would refrain from going out late in the evening throughout the month, or refrain from performing dangerous tasks as well as avoid moving homes or renovating.
A festival celebration held at Jalan Sekama here this evening was witnessed by The Borneo Post, with Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian gracing the event.
The much-anticipated ‘Qiang Gu’ activity or grappling with the ghosts, was also held where members of the public bring home the food offerings as a sign of blessing.
Among those present at the festival celebration were Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) members Tan Kai, Kho Teck Wan, Eric Tay and Kapitan Tan Kun Gee.
Source : The Borneo Post