Festival of The Hungry Ghosts | My Singapore Travel

Festival of The Hungry Ghosts

Singapore's Oddest Festival

Singapore maybe a tiny island but it is one of the largest vacation spots in Asia. It is full of interesting places to see and fun things to do. Singapore is one holiday destination that can be visited anytime of the year. No matter the season, there is always something going on in this popular cosmopolitan island nation. Of the many celebrations and festivals that take place here, the Hungry Ghosts Festival is probably the most anticipated by the Chinese Buddhist population on the island. Yu Lan, or the Hungry Ghost Festival, is an interesting and highly unusual festival. According to the Chinese calendar, the festival falls on the fifteenth night of the seventh month (also referred to as the ‘Ghost Month’). It is believed that on this day the gates that separate the realm of the living and the dead open and departed souls are once again free to roam the earth. Many of these wandering ghosts are thought to be neglected by their descendants and are thus unfulfilled.

During this time, families make offerings to their ancestors. These offerings mainly take the form of food, drink and prayer money -– fake money that is burnt so that it is available to use in the afterlife. People also burn paper models of houses, cars, electronics and even servants so that their deceased ancestors can enjoy them. It is also customary for people to give offerings to appease the wandering souls so that they do not come into their houses and bring misfortune. During the Ghost Month, one will come across many concerts and performances. The first rows for such events are left empty for the spirits to occupy. Tourists visiting Singapore during the Ghost Month should not miss the opportunity to learn more about the local customs and traditions.

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Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday. Google+