Most of us would be familiar with the significances of the Hungry Ghost Festival: during the seventh month, the gates of hell are open and hungry ghosts would be released from the netherworld to wander on our earth for food.
Depending on your religion, you’ll do different things to appease the wandering spirits.
But have you wondered about the origins of the festival? Or to be more specific, the legends of how it all started?
Well, there are two popular ones that we’ve found.
Mu Lian, a disciple of Buddha
So basically, Mu Lian is a disciple of Buddha. His vegetarian mother accidentally consumed meat and was condemned to hell for denying that act. So Mu Lian went to find her in the netherworld and saw her amongst hungry ghosts who were looking for food.
Mu Lian gave food to his mother but it was grabbed by the other ghosts. Eventually, Buddha helped him by teaching him how to make offerings of food and prayers, and from then on, Mu Lian’s mother was no longer a hungry ghost.
Legend from the Tang Dynasty
So, during this time, there was a famous fortune teller called Li Liang Feng who has never got his predictions wrong. The Dragon King of the Eastern Seas was angry at his claim and tried to discredit him, but was sentenced to death instead due to some plot twist.
In order to save his life, he went to Emperor Tang Taizong for help, but it failed and the Dragon King haunted the Emperor in his dreams.
To appease the Dragon King, the Emperor ordered all Buddhist and Taoists priests in his city to do offerings for the Dragon King, and the rest is history.
Wait…why isn’t there any mention of hungry ghosts roaming earth?
Despite what our grandparents have told us, it seems like the story of hungry ghosts roaming our world isn’t part of the origins of the festival.
But maybe as time goes by, different accounts of the origin changed, but one thing remain constant: people are still making offerings.
Always bored during your commute to and fro work or school? Here’s the best solution: download our app for new articles, Facebook videos and YouTube videos that are updated daily…and most importantly, exclusive contents that are only available in our app! It’s your perfect companion for your daily commute!
This article was first published on goodyfeed.com on 26 August 2015 and revised on 27 August 2017.
- 12 Hungry Ghost Festival Superstitions to Watch Out For This 7th Month
- TODAY’s Hungry Ghost Festival Photos Are So Chio You’d Think They’re For Instagram
Do you love writing? Do you want a platform to showcase your works? Goody Feed is looking for part-time writers to join the team! Click here to find out more!
Featured Image: nokhook / Shutterstock.com
Latest posts by Goody Feed Team (see all)
- Here’s What it Means When GST is Implemented in ‘Digital Services’ from 2020 - February 20, 2018
- The history of why Darlie is called 黑人牙膏 is actually very controversial - February 15, 2018
- What you should do on your first day of work after CNY for a HUAT year - February 15, 2018