Hungry Ghost Month

It is August and once again Hungry Ghost Month.  It is believed that in the Ghost month, the gates of hell are opened and the spirits come back to visit their families. To appease them, the Chinese hold banquets and offer prayers.

Here they are burning paper money outside Kallang Leisure Park the main shopping center by our house.

I found this list of Hungry Ghost Month Do's and Dont's online and thought it was pretty interesting:

  • Do not stay out too late, try and be home by 11pm
    • Yin energy (which is what spirits are full off) are believed to grow stronger at night, especially after the sun sets, so the world ‘belongs’ to the spirits.
  • Do not respond when you hear your name being called late at night
    • Spirits may be calling out to you for help, if you respond then you must help.
  • Never joke about a procession or event even if you are not Taoist of Buddhist
    • This is particularly true if you are not from a Taoist/Buddhist/Confucian tradition or did not grow up in one. There are many grapevine stories of people not of the religion who made fun of these practices and were punished by the spirits.
  • When walking or running, avoid trampling on any place that has had prayer before
    • See the same reason on stepping on things used for prayer, add in the fact that prayer is divided between offeerings for familial spirits and wondering ghosts. And where things are burned (particuarly joss sticks), spirits are sort of ‘eating’ the joss stick as food and you wouln’t want people to step on your food/money right?
  • If you are burning incense paper do not stir the pot to mess up the ashes you spoil the burning and mess up the transfer of items to the netherworld
    • Thats as good as tearing the money up.

Hungry Ghost Month 2014 from Lynn Wood on Vimeo.

1 Response to "Hungry Ghost Month"

  • Gossip Queen Says:

    Hello! Great photos and story! I was wondering if I could use one of your images for a publicity flyer for a nonprofit art exhibition. The theme is Hungry Ghosts! Please email me at michelle.ann.lee at