The traditional Buddhist and Taoist festival, celebrated in Asian countries.
Hungry Ghost Festival celebrated every fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar in Chinese culture. They belief that ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower realm to visit the living.
Taoists and Buddhists do rituals to transmute, absolve the sufferings of the deceased, Heaven and Hell and the realm of the living are open and both. The Hungry Ghost Festival originated with the canonical scriptures of Buddhism, altars are built for the deceased, the priests and monks perform rituals for the benefit of ghosts.
Somjai Suwannasupapana, Mayor of Phuket Town stated, “This annual giving not only gives the spirits great food, but also brings luck and good health in return to the givers,”“The Por Tor Festival usually falls on the 15th day of the seventh waxing moon according to the Chinese calendar and Thai-Chinese people believe that the spirits of ancestors are released to visit their relatives during this festival.”
Activities for the celebration includes the burning of incense and joss paper, preparing ritualistic food offerings, material items such as clothes, gold and other fine goods for the visiting spirits of the ancestors and buying and releasing miniature paper boats and lanterns on water. This signifies giving directions, lost ghosts and spirits of the ancestors.
After fourteen days of Hungry Ghost Festival, people float water lanterns set them outside their houses to make sure all the hungry ghosts find their way back to hell. They are used to direct the ghosts back to the underworld. When the festival is held, they believed that ghosts haunt the island of Taiwan for the entire seventh lunar month. On the first day,marked by opening the gate of a temple which symbolizing the gates of hell and on the twelfth day, lamps on the main altar are lit. IMAGES/Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images