The 7th Month Holidays

August 12th, 2007

Dear Readers,

Well, after posting some information on the Hungry Ghost Festival (which falls and starts on the 13th of August 2007), its time for me to rest! Therefore, there’ll be no posting for this whole month until Mooncake Festival comes around. Afterall, its “pantang” la!

Til then,

Hungry Ghost Festival

August 9th, 2007

Hungry Ghost Festival falls on the 7th moon, 15th day of the Chinese Lunar Calendar, making it on the 30th August for 2004, 19th August for 2005 not too sure about 2006 though but in 2007, the hungry ghost festival would fall on the coming 13th August. The build up to this festive date begins roughly a week before where Chinese Opera’s and Chinese Puppet Shows are put together for audiences, those living and the non-living alike, at temples and certain Chinese Associations for a week prior to the big day. These performances are more rampant in towns and villages that are more Chinese dominated like in Penang, Perak , Malacca etc.

Seats in the front row are often reserved for the ghosts whereas the living would happily occupy the back seats. Hungry Ghost festival is originated during the Buddhist fusion with Chinese filial virtue. With the introduction of Buddhism entering China, Buddhism was immediately faced with the opposition of Confucian’s filial virtue. Buddhism believed that one would have to leave one’s home and family in favour of chasity and begging (meaning one would have to leave all ancestral commitments). Confucianism, on the other hand, emphasizes on on filial virtue and the honouring of ancestors. To adapt to the country, Sanskrit sutras then included obedience to family and upholding family traditions which would be passed onto the male heir of the family.

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Ghost Daughter

July 27th, 2007

This is a story told by a friend of mine that heard the true stories from one of those tv talk shows that talk about true supernatural experiences. This story was narrated by a young Buddhist monk that experienced the whole incident.

A lady and her husband due to unexplained situation aborted her baby at one time in their life. Perhaps it was due to financial reasons but the reason was never revealed. After a few years later, they decided to try for a baby but with no avail. Chinese believed that abortion needed to be done in a careful manner with prayers to ease the infant spirit especially if the fetus has already formed its shape. However, the lady and her husband failed to perform any prayers for their unborn child at that time as they did not know that rituals needed to be done.

On one afternoon while the lady waited for her friends for tea at a local restaurant, she could suddenly feel something brushing against her leg. As she was wearing skirt at that time, she thought that the wind must be blowing but after second thoughts, she looked under the table to see if there was anything. She saw nothing. Again, she suddenly felt the brush and peered under the table. Nothing was underneath and when she felt the brush for the third time, she suddenly thought of her unborn child. Could that brush be her unborn child? She thought to herself “Child, if you are really my child then brush my leg again” and as she finished thinking, she felt a brush on her leg. Excitedly, she thought to herself again “Child, if you are really my unborn child, reveal yourself” and she unveiled the table cloth to see a very cute little girl peering up at her with her black brown eyes clinging on to her feet.

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