These are just some of the spirit tablets in the ancestral hall at Pak Sing temple. The communal hall houses the spirit tablets of many common people who died in Hong Kong but who had no family to come and pay respects to them. Common rituals are offered for all of the spirits housed within it to make sure none of the spirits start to wander and cause mischief.
It is traditional to burn paper objects at temples around HK. Once these are burned to ash it is said that the gods have received your gift and will repay you in kind. Traditionally gold paper symbolises money, but some people like to get more specific with paper designer bags, cars and houses all on offer!
If you walk through the streets you may see people making food offerings and burning things on the side of the street. This is for the Hungry Ghost Festival.
The Hungry Ghost Festival falls on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month. You can find the Western calendar date here.
According to traditional Chinese belief, the seventh month in the lunar calendar is when restless spirits roam the earth. Many Chinese people make efforts to appease these transient ghosts, while ‘feeding’ their own ancestors — particularly on the 15th day, which is the Yu Lan or Hungry Ghost Festival.
While the festival’s origins are not unlike those of Halloween in Europe, it is also intrinsically linked to the Chinese practice of ancestor worship. For the visitor, it’s a perfect opportunity to see some of the city’s living culture in action, with many people tending roadside fires and burning faux money and other offerings for ghosts and ancestors to use in the afterlife. Food is also left out to sate the appetite of the hungry ghosts.
I saw this and couldn’t contain my excitement! Hong Kong’s container terminal as seen from Stonecutters Bridge. Posted by Niya on her travels around Hong Kong.
We are delighted to launch our newest public group tour. Take a tour of Lantau with us and visit the awe inspiring Big Buddha and the wonderfully quaint stilt village of Tai O. Includes a ride on the famous Ngong Ping cable car, a boat ride through Tai O village and lunch at the UNESCO recognised Tai O Heritage hotel; originally established as a police station in 1902 to combat pirates prevalent in the neighbouring waters. Maximum of 9 people on group tours to ensure an intimate and personal touring experience. This is a far cry from the coach tours of Lantau! Running on Sundays, Tuesday and Thursdays.
Some see spooky, some see a snapshot into Hong Kong’s history! With graves dating back to the 1840s and including some of HK’s key influential figures the Happy Valley Cemetery makes for an interesting detour. Just watch out at this time of year as we are celebrating the Hungry Ghost Festival!