This year’s Hungry Ghost Festival has come to a close on 16 September, after a month of burnt offerings and smoke in the air.
But has anyone ever wondered what exactly happens to the tons of food that were bought for ghosts to consume during the Hungry Ghost Festival, especially when those ghosts are really, really hungry?
Well, this group of people did, and took fast action against potential food wastage.
The Great Orange Hunt
Daniel Tay and 4 of his other friends got together as a group of self-proclaimed “freegans” to hunt for leftover fruit offerings on the last day of the Hungry Ghost Festival, where offerings would have been at its peak.
Lest you didn’t know, “freegans” refer to those who are against consumerism and aim to reduce waste brought about it.
On this particular orange hunt, Daniel and his friends spent a total of 8 hours and 42 minutes trawling around Singapore on the lookout for leftover fruits, as he documented on his Facebook post.
And the results were extremely fruitful, to say the least.
The group managed to collect a total of:
- 524 oranges
- 108 apples
- 2 pineapples
- 24 bananas
- 24 rambutans
- 146 duku and longans
- 178 sweets
- 12 otak-otak & misc
- 5 pears
What a whopping amount of fruits collected in just one night alone!
Here’s the post:
They Had A Plan
This wasn’t the group’s first orange hunt, and with their previous experience, they were able to find out what worked for them and what didn’t, applying it to their future “hunts”.
Daniel and his group managed to practice more efficiency in their collection, collecting an average of 2.7 oranges per minute in this hunt as compared to their previous hunt two weeks ago, where they only collected 1 orange per minute.
On 2 Sept, the group also went on an “impromptu” orange hunt and collected 122 oranges, two pineapples, two apples, and a bunch of bananas, which was a 50% increase from the one they did before it. However, do note that it was the 15th of the Seventh Month, which is the real Hungry Ghost Festival whereby people would be burning more offerings.
Some tips that he shared regarding orange hunting were to have an official counter to keep track of the fruits collected, using walkie talkies to communicate, and go to places that they are familiar with to save time.
It’s also important to have someone on the lookout to decide whether stopping for a few oranges is worth it when that time could be used to collect more oranges at the same spot.
What Will They Do With It?
Although many might be wondering what can be done with these oranges since they were technically food for spirits, Daniel commented that there might be some “consumption services”.
The food can be removed once the incense has burned out, which signifies that the spirits have finished eating, he stated, emphasising that one should still thank the spirits.
He also stressed that these were taken from public places and were collected respectfully.
At least these fruits won’t go to waste after being consumed by both the dead and the living.
But of course, you’ve got to wonder: during this COVID-19 outbreak, can consume other people’s food meh?
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