Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hungry Ghost Festival

This month is the month of Hungry Ghost in lunar calendar. Here in Penang, celebration for Hungry Ghost Festival is great, you can see lotsa temporary stages and tents being built all over the residential areas and town areas as well for the festival celebration.

The celebration of the festival usually lasts for 3 days, and some of them even longer, up to a week. During the first day, there will be a ceremony of inviting the God of Hungry Ghosts to the celebration venue. During the second day, foods and fruits will be presented to the God of Hungry Ghosts as a gesture to thank Him for taking care of the ghosts. After that, the foods and fruits will be distributed to all the members of the Hungry Ghost Festival celebration commitee of a particular group. At night time during the celebration period, a variety of activities and events will be held, such as prayers, singing competitions, concerts and many more. In the midnight of the last day of the celebration, a ceremony will be held to bid farewell to the God of Hungry Ghosts.

The God of Hungry Ghosts.

Foods and fruits that were presented to the God and being distribued to the members of the comittee.

Roasted chickens and roasted pigs.... YUMMY~

Shirts for the God.

2 weeks back, we witnessed the ceremony of bidding farewell to the God of Hungry Ghosts at downtown. We reached there around 11pm, and we did the prayers before we headed to a mamak stall nearby for a teh tarik session while waiting for the farewell ceremony to start. Usually the ceremony will start at around 12 midnight, but on that day, the people in charge "enquiried" the God and obviously He doesn't want to leave. So, we have to wait until the God agree to leave. 1 thing about the God is, if He doesn't want to leave, no matter how many people carry the paper statue of the God together, they just won't suceed to move Him. But when He agrees, 4 men can carry Him easily! Weird but amazing, isn't it?

Finally, at around 1am, the God agreed to leave. There comes the ceremony! Pixies after the jump:

Oh... Sudah mau balik liau...

The people preparing to send the God back..

Moments before "departure"..

The God on His way back..


Kenny Ng said...

I saw it when I touched down to Penang during my holiday. It was so nice feeling to see our own cultural still alive.

Wyn said...

yea...but its getting less merrier d lor if compare to last time...