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Hungry Ghost Festival



In case you have missed it the Hungry Ghost Festival just passed on August 20th. This is a big day in the Hungry Ghost Month that I posted about earlier this month. There are so many cool things involved with this event. There have been concert performances, auctions and even puppet shows (though I didn't manage to get photos of the latter). Oh and of course there is the burning of offerings. In copious amounts.

Ok, so this is like my third year of seeing the Hungry Ghost Month and still I don't understand much. But the longer I'm here, the more daring I become. So this year I wandered into the really big tent and got photos of the auction-cum-dinner. Surprisingly no one seemed to care.
Hungry Ghost Festival auctionHungry Ghost Festival auctionHungry Ghost Festival auction

In that same huge tent there were spaces with what looked like makeshift temples where people were lighting and placing incense.
Hungry Ghost Festival altarHungry Ghost Festival altarHungry Ghost Festival altar

Then we were off to another tent just down the road and approaching it there were a series of flags; I held one out so we could get a photo of it.
Hungry Ghost Festival flag

Walking in, the first thing to catch our eyes was this brightly-lit ‘bridge’ with a lotus flower design. I have no idea what it signifies but it was pretty over the top.
Hungry Ghost Festival lotus bridge

Once there we found rows of tables with offerings the families planned to burn for their deceased relatives, including models of three-storey homes that were complete with security guards, maids, swimming pool, two cars in the driveway and more.
Hungry Ghost Festival offerings

I also noticed a large setup of sweet foods offered to the hungry ghosts.
Hungry Ghost Festival offeringsHungry Ghost Festival offerings

Again there was a temple area setup that was quite amazing to look at.
Hungry Ghost Festival altarHungry Ghost Festival altar

And outside there were joss sticks that were taller than me and thicker than any baseball bat.
Hungry Ghost Festival offerings

Now it was at this tent I was approached, but perhaps not what you’re thinking. I was invited to come down in the next couple of days and enjoy the getai or concerts that were to be held in yet another tent just behind this one. How could I turn the offer down? Now mind you, I had no idea how many people would show up for this and was shocked by the mass crowd that did.
Hungry Ghost Festival getai

And the performers were awesome, though I couldn't understand a word other than “thank you!” (xie xie ni!). Once each performance was over, they would rush off to their next gig and someone else would take the stage.
Hungry Ghost Festival getaiHungry Ghost Festival getaiHungry Ghost Festival getai

As off in the distance, a large offering was set ablaze.
Hungry Ghost Festival offerings


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