Appeasing hungry ghosts’ insatiable appetite
By Ting Tieng Hee

KUCHING: Jalan Carpenter, sealed off to enable hundreds of devotees to celebrate the Zhong Yuan Festival in front of a temple Thursday night, was a hive of activity.

GO FOR IT: Devotees scrambling to grab the paper slips after they were thrown into the air.

The festival was organised by Kuching Teochew Association which erected an altar where hampers, fruits and food were placed to be ‘offered’ to the hungry ghosts.

As in past traditional practice, after the offerings were made, the association chairman Kho Yong Puang scattered paper slips with lucky numbers into the air which the devotees scrambled to grab.

Those who grabbed the lucky numbers received their prizes, which were hampers, fruit and food offerings.

Zhong Yuan Festival, also known as the Hungry Ghosts Festival, falls on the 15th day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar.

This month is the most inauspicious month for the Chinese because throughout the month, the spirits of the dead are believed to be released from hell to wander about on earth to intermingle with human beings.

With ghosts roaming freely, no marriages as well as other family functions are encouraged to be held during the month.

People also take extreme precautions not to undertake unnecessary journeys and other activities such as swimming in the sea, lest misfortune and accidents befall, especially if they should unknowingly step on the toes of these spirits.

Read more at Borneo Post Online

And here’s the video: