Have you noticed quite a bit of incense or paper being burned around town? We are in the middle of the Chinese Hungry Ghost Month which started on the 31st of July and will run through to August 28th, 2011. Last night and tonight there will be some festivals to mark this years Ghost month. The Chinese believe that during this month spirits and ghosts of the deceased are released and are allowed to roam here amongst the living. It is advised to be very careful this month and to pay the utmost respect to the spirits. Incense is burned to appease and others ensure that they keep seats vacant and free for ghosts to join in with any meals or activities such as concerts that take place.
Some of you may read this and possibly judge this as superstitious, macabre, hocus pocus but it is truly fascinating for me to draw parallels between different cultures who celebrate similar festivals:
Mexicans have the" Day of the Dead"
In Austria and in the Catholic Church first days of November is respected
as "All Souls Day"
USA has Halloween
I am sure there are many more.
Either way be safe this month!