Every year, usually in August, the Chinese in Singapore observe a large-scale tradition of paying respects to the dead. During this month, the "Gates of Hell” are opened and souls of the dead are freed and allowed to roam the earth where they seek food and entertainment.
The 7th month of the Chinese lunar calendar is regarded as the Ghost Month. The 15th day of Ghost Month is Ghost Day, and the Ghost Festival is held the night before - on the evening of the 14th day.
The activities throughout the month include preparing ritualistic food offerings, such as Mandarin oranges, roasted suckling pig, bowls of rice, and local Chinese cake made especially for the occasion. They also burn incense and joss paper to pay respect to the deceased. The festival is so widely-practiced in Singapore that special bins are set up in neighborhoods for believers to burn their joss paper. Small altars can also be seen outside many homes, both on private property and in public housing areas.
On Ghost Day in Singapore and Malaysia, singers and dancers hold concert-like performances known as Getai on temporary stages set up in a residential districts. Everyone is welcome to watch the show as long as you don’t sit at the front row, which is reserved for the spirits.
If you want to experience Ghost Festival without insulting the spirits, this presentation compiles a collection of taboos - 25 things NOT to do during Hungry Ghost Festival.
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