Friday, September 27, 2013

Hungry Ghost Festival - Singapore

On our wander around Little India we started to notice all these little alters and offerings. Most consisted of incense and oranges, sometimes with cake and others had a variety of fruits, biscuits (Oreos!) dumplings and tea. There were also people throwing paper up into the air, burning paper on the side walk or in bins, lets just say it definitely caught our attention. We stopped to ask one guy but we hit a bit of a communication barrier so when we got home that night I googled it up to find it was for the Hungry Ghost Festival. A tradition where respect is paid to those passed and offerings are presented. The burning paper is actually Joss Paper, thought to have value in the afterlife. I believe an aspect to the festival is also to please the ghosts so they don't cause any ill. I love it :)



They also set up entertainment for the ghosts. apparently you're meant to leave the first row of seats empty for all the spirits to sit :)

We came across this sign about making sure to burn your joss paper in bins and not on the footpath or grass :p I was telling the guy at our hotel, this would never be allowed in Australia and he said that it would never not be allowed here :) he he, despite the signs we saw many people just burning wherever :p






It rained every day on our holiday and after a few days the site of some of these shrines were a little mmm, washed out!

15 comments:

  1. I spent most of August in Malaysia where the celebrate Hungry Ghost, too. it got quite annoying after a while. I don't remember how many evenings I started running around the house, convinced there was a fire. but no, it was the neighbours burning paper money AGAIN. we had a good laugh about it and in the end they always burned incense with the paper so that the stupid foreigner knew what was going on :)

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  2. lol! It really took me by surprise just at the ease that everyone was creating fires, being from somewhere quite restricted with fire usage it was definitely very interesting :)

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  3. I would have loved to see this while I was there! A reason to go back, perhaps?!:)

    Sorry to hear you had so much rain. And I know from experience that when it rains in Singapore it really pours, so I feel your pain!

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  4. amazing culture...i thought the idea of the ghost festival is very sweet. would love to visit! lovely captures :)

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  5. This is something that reminds me of an asian fairy tale,i love this weird traditions!

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  6. That is so interesting. I've seen many similar altars in our China Town and wondered what they were all about, however they just have lit incense sticks and no burning paper.

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  7. It was a fun discovery :) I wish we had more traditions here in Australia!

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  8. your little india adventure looks like much fun! flavors and colors. wow!

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  9. It was better than I'd imagined, actually I had this perception that Singapore would be completely westernised but I found that Singapore has it's own identity which is super nice :)

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  10. OMG I miss Singapore so much :( Amazing photos the colours are so vivid! Maybe I will go back one day and go to this festival!

    xx opinionslave.com

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  11. definitely :) I think the performances would be fun to watch, unfortunately by the time I found out there was performances I was happily tucked in my bed!

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  12. Ah the hungry ghost festival...yes I remember having to burn the paper money as a child...a very hot and unpleasant task!

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  13. I'm sure the Ghosts appreciated the money :)

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  14. It is great that you also took a picture after the rain, somehow it gives even a more ghostly feeling!

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  15. :) I should have taken another picture a few days later, when the stuff was super soggy!!

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