WS K88

WS K88
Erich's new place where different things will happen, but still the center of the universe and the navel of the world

Sep 2, 2009

Hungry Ghost Festival

The Ghost Festival is on the 14th night of the seventh lunar month. In Chinese tradition the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar is called Ghost Day and the seventh month in general is regarded as the Ghost Month in which ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the Underworld. During the Festival the living descendants pay homage to their ancestors and on Ghost Day, the deceased visit the living.

San Qing: are the highest deities in the Taoist Pantheon. The entire manifested universe is ruled by three original forces, the Three Pure Ones:
The Jade Purity, The Yuanshi Tianzhun, also known as "The Universally Honoured One of Origin", or "The Universal Lord of the Primordial Beginning"

The Supreme Pure One, also known as "The Universally Honoured One of Divinities and Treasures", or "The Universal Lord of the Numinous Treasure"

The Grand Pure One, also known as "The Universally Honoured One of Tao and Virtues or "The Universal Lord of the Way and its Virtue" or "The Grand Supreme Elder Lord"
"The Supreme Commander of the "Thunder Agency". The belief of the Thunder Deity originated from worshipping of nature since ancient times. People felt that heavens must be angry thus venting the anger with lightning and thunder. Taoists belief that the Thunder Deity is a formidable deity who is upright and righteous.

There are many Thunder Deities and the "Heavenly Lord of Universal Transformation Whose Voice of Thunder Resonates with the Origin of the Nine Heavens" is the overall commander of all the 36 Supreme Commanders in the "Thunder Agency".
Activities during the month would include preparing ritualistic food offerings, burning incense and burning joss paper paper-mache form of material items such as clothes, gold and other fine goods for the visiting spirits of the ancestors.
Elaborate meals would be served with empty seats for each of the deceased in the family treating the deceased as if they are still living.
An array of foods being offered to the deceased

The priest will strike the bell to call back the souls, other monks singing chimes of incantations.

Guan Yin is an extremely popular Goddess in Chinese folk belief and is worshipped throughout East and South East Asia. Guna Yin is revered due to her unconditional love, compassion and mercy. She is generally regarded as the protector of women and children, a fertility goddess capable of granting children, seen as the champion of the unfortunate, the sick, the disabled, the poor, and those in trouble.
The Eight Immortals are a group of legendary immortals in Chinese mythology. They are popularly known for the legend of "the Eight Immortals cross the sea, each reveals its divine powers", where they were going to the Conference of Magical Peach and encountered an ocean.
Food and drink will be offered at night outside the gates of houses. This is so that the ghosts do not enter their houses and cause trouble.
Lanterns are lit to help guide the ghosts to the feasts set out for them.
To make sure that these souls stay out of trouble, entertainment is set up round the clock, and Chinese operas or Getai is performed on outdoor stages.

A Getai (literally song stage) is a boisterous live stage performance commonly held in Singapore & Malaysia, in contrast to the generally solemn mood of the festival. The stage setup is usually composed of temporary structures and situated in the suburbs of the city in any empty field or even in car parking spaces or housing estate.
The backdrop of the stage is made of cardboard and clothes painted in bright colours. Spotlights bright colours, like, red, blue, pink and yellow illuminate the stage.
The younger folks in Singapore normally relate to a Getai as kitsch, as the performers sing and talk often in Hokkien, a dialect they label as crude and passe. The older people however enjoy watching a Getai, dance and sing along to the staple songs.
The event is meant to be performed to the spirits and also the people alike during the seventh month. The performers don loud and glittery clothing, and the compere spouts crude jokes all in the name of fun.
For the older folks from the surrounding neighbourhoods these performances are most welcome because it means a free evening of entertainment.

Incense are burnt in front of the door of each household. The more incense, the better, for the amount of incense stands for the degree of prosperity. In some places, people flow water lanterns. Such lanterns are made by setting a lotus flower-shaped lantern on a piece of board. According to the Chinese tradition, the lanterns are used to direct the ghosts. Ghosts find their way back when the lanterns are out.

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