Many Asian countries celebrate the Hungry Ghost Month, that has its roots from Taoism and Buddhism, differently.
Let us look at some differences between the way they celebrate this month.
China only celebrates 1 day of the festival
While Singaporeans believe that the gates of hell opens on the first day of the 7th month and closes on the last, China only celebrates on the 15th day of the 7th month, which is known as Zhong Yuan Jie or Ghost day. In China, it is commonly believed that the ghost only roam about for that one day.
The other governments don’t really regulate the burning of offerings
In Singapore, there are dedicated containers and spaces where you must burn your offerings. This is to prevent any unfortunate fire incidents and also reduces the area where the ashes and smoke can reach so it does not disturb other people. However, in other countries, offerings are made everywhere from the front of houses to roadsides.
China, Taiwan and Hong Kong don’t have getais
Possibly apart from Malaysia, Singapore is one other country that celebrates the festival for hosting a month of stage performances including singing and dancing for the entertainment of the other world. The first row of seats are deliberately left empty for the other beings.
But of course, with COVID-19, getais might become be part of history soon.
Japanese buy presents for their bosses and friends
Originally. On the 15th of the lunar 7th month, the gifts were meant to be offering for their ancestors. Over the years, it has evolved to an annual event of gifting to the living.
Vietnamese celebrates Mother’s Day
It just so happens that the 15th day of the 7th month is also Mother’s day in Vietnam. If their mothers are alive, the children bring along a red rose, otherwise they carry a white rose, and pray to the deceased on the same day. Pretty interesting, isn’t it?
To know more about the Hungry Ghost Month in general, watch this video to the end:
Featured Image: eggie Lee / Shutterstock.com
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