Monday, September 1, 2014

Ghost festival in China

One of the main Chinese festival is the ghost festival from the 7th to the 15th of July based on the lunar calendar.
During that time, the ghost of the dead come back on earth.

Chinese families make offering to their ancestors.
As you can see from the video below.

You need to make some offering to each ancestor. 
The different family members must offer to the different ancestors. 
One small paper bag is one offering from one family member to one ancestor. It contains paper money.
You must pour the blood of a chicken on the paper bag. I think it is meant to attract the spirit of the ancestors?
Chinese people burn paper money and also paper artifacts: cars, boats, appartments...

You must make offering to the other spirits. 
When you are making the offering, you must also burn some paper money. This money is for the other spirits. You must give them something so that they won't take the offering inside the bags. These are for your ancestors!

I find that there is a similarity with Ulysse travel, when he mut fight off the spirit of the dead and keep his offering for Tiresias the augur.

When you burn the offering, make sure you choose the right place.
Each year it is better to burn the offering at the same spot. So that your ancestor, remember the place.
It is also important to choose a good location and a good day: windy, on a top of a hill...

Beware, don't go out the last day of the ghost festival.
The last day of the ghost festival, the dead must return to their world.
Some of them are reluctant, they want to stay alive. It is said that they will prey on weak people so that they can take their body and stay.
In fact most Chinese people believe this and they never go outside in the evening of the last day of the ghost festival.


  1. Thanks for the information. I have a student from Hong Kong and I am trying to learn about his culture. He is about to celebrate his first Halloween in America. I was looking for how the holidays are similar.

    Heard about the power of Jesus Christ's name