- Posted August 26, 2010 by
Hong Kong, China
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Taming Hungry Ghosts
Peng Chau, Hong Kong
August 23-25, 2010
by P H Yang Photography (phyang.org)
Click here for more images.
Worshippers make offerings of food, live stock, blessings, opera performances and currency from hell to satisfy the hungry spirits during the 3-day festivities on Peng Chau, a laid-back island about half an hour by ferry from the bustling international finance centre of Hong Kong.
Yu Lan (Hungry Ghost) Festival is celebrated by Chinese communities all over the world. In Hong Kong, it is a month-long effort to appease restless spirits of the dead.
The festival falls on the 15th day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, and more than 60 celebrations take place across the city throughout the month to pacify roaming hungry ghosts.
One of the most traditional celebrations was held by the thriving Chiu Chow community on the small island of Peng Chau.
According to legend, Mu Lian, then the oldest Buddhist monk, discovered that his mother was a hungry ghost who was suffering in hell due to her misdeeds in her previous life. The monk used his magical powers to offer food to his mother, but the food turned into charcoal in her hands.
Buddha advised him to ask monks to recite sacred texts and perform rituals on the 15th day of the seventh month to temporarily release all hungry ghosts, his mother included, to receive food.