Hungry Ghost Celebrations Hugely Downsized

By Pan Yi Chieh

September 2020 FEATURE
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The Da Shi Ye (Ghost King) is placed at the centre of the altar. Photo: Ch'ng Kiah Kiean.
THE SEVENTH MONTH of the Lunar calendar is often referred to as the month of the “Hungry Ghost”. Believers hold rituals and ceremonies to pay respect, and a great variety of offerings are made, to wandering spirits during their month-long return to the human plane.In Penang the Hungry Ghost Festival dates back more than two centuries. But with the establishment of Persatuan Teong Guan Pulau Pinang in the 1970s, the celebrations are better coordinated and have become more uniformed. The...

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Pan Yi Chieh

is a research analyst at Penang Institute who was born in Taiwan but now lives in Penang. She is proud to be nurtured by the two beautiful islands she regards as home.