Celebrated by Buddhists and Taoists all over Asia, the Ghost Festival is a holiday that is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the Chinese calendar. It is believed that on this day the gates of hell are opened and the dead are allowed to walk the earth in search for food. Therefore, it is very much like Halloween in western civilization, although there is more of a spiritual emphasis placed on this holiday than what the West places on Halloween.
While it is not currently known when the Ghost Festival was created, but it is known that it is rooted in ancient beliefs that are thousands of years old. This festival combines aspects of ancient Chinese folk religion, Buddhism and Taoism principles.
Customs, Traditions And Celebrations
A common practice on this day is the burning of fake paper money – commonly referred to as ‘hell money’ – on people’s doorsteps. This is to provide the ghosts with the money they need for their travels across the Earth. It is also common to see people set out food for these hungry ghosts and performing Chinese operas in public for the entertainment of these entities.
Also during this time, there are many street festivals. Many people also make sure to attend temple activities during this time for protection against the ghosts that may try to cause them harm.