Hungry Ghost Festival
The Hungry Ghost Festival is celebrated on the seventh month of the lunar calendar. During this time, the gates of hell are opened and ghosts roam the land. Relatives of the dead will pray to them at various altars. Large amounts of food are offered to the departed, from simple bowls of rice, buns or oranges, to fried noodles, and even whole chicken or duck. Yellow “hell” money and paper clothes are burned so that the dead can use them when they eventually return to the underworld at the end of the month. Though there are many superstitions about this month (no swimming, and marriage is discouraged), it is also, in many ways, a time to celebrate the dead.
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