Hi tourists in Singapore,
If you had been wandering around the heartlands of Singapore today, you would probably have seen the Chinese burning joss sticks and incense paper in large, metal urns. This is because they believe that today marks the first day of the Hungry Ghost Festival (the 7th month of the Chinese calendar), when the gates of hell open for the dead to come out and roam the earth for a month.
The Hungry Ghost Festival is widely observed by Chinese people around the world, who believe that this month should be dedicated to pleasing ancestral spirits, who will in turn reciprocate by bringing luck and fortune. Because there is no food in hell, the ghosts only get to eat once a year, therefore they are famished and will be very pleased with offerings such as mandarin oranges and suckling pigs.
Although the food placed as offerings do not magically disappear, there is evidence that the ghosts have consumed the offerings. Apparently, if you eat any of those food, you will find that there is no taste left.
Another way people play host to the spirits is by performing boisterous stage performances called getai, featuring songs and dance items, stories about legendary gods and goddesses, stand-up comedy and acrobatics.
Watching getai is free for everybody interested, but take note not to sit in the front row, because it it reserved for the VIPs – the spirits! These fascinating acts are performed frequently at night all throughout the month at various places, especially in the heartlands where the dwellers are more traditional. Try to catch one!
There also certain things you should avoid during this festival, according to local superstition. Click here for more!
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