In the olden days, the family members made offerings of new harvest to their ancestors believed to be alive in the world beyond. There are some similarities with the Buddhist Ullambana festival and the Taoist Ghost Festival which also known as ‘Chung Yuan’, in the sense that during both these festivals, offerings are made to the departed ancestors.
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Ceremonies are carried our in the temples, homes, Chinese guilds and Chinese Associations. Usually food such as chicken, fruits, bean curd and rice, are offered during the prayers and placed by the roadsides to appease the wandering spirits. The Chinese believe that by these offerings, they can provide the spirits with all manner of earthly pleasures, thus sending a message to the ghosts not to cause disharmony or serious health implications among the members of the family.
Various cultures and various beliefs add colors to this life, which otherwise would be a monotonous affair from beginning till the end. Though most people may have lost the impact and actual significance of the festival, some understands that the ultimate significance of this Hungry Ghost festival is to remember the dead relatives and pay respect to them.Its really interesting to see that many of the traditional celebrations and prayers are still being practiced by many.
Our ancestors are the foundation of our existence and the catalyst for the continuity of human race on this earth. Therefore, it’s a very noble act to pay tribute and respect for those people.
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