Who you gonna call? (An-ces-tors!)
August 17, 2016 6:37 AM   Subscribe

15 Funky Things Chinese People Burnt for their Ancestors A quirky look into a mainstay ritual of the Hungry Ghost Festival. What's that? From the Straits Times: All You Need to Know and Heed about the 7th Month Celebrations. From The Beijinger: Everything You Need to Know About this Year's Ghost Festival. And maybe you're familiar with the festival and all its taboos. Or are you?
posted by cendawanita (7 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I see you're not supposed to wear black. That pretty much leaves me the option of going naked to work.
posted by biggreenplant at 7:06 AM on August 17, 2016

Thanks for this post though. I didn't know about this day
posted by biggreenplant at 7:07 AM on August 17, 2016

Related: Hell Money.
posted by Paul Slade at 7:31 AM on August 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

A friend of mine is still vaguely dissatisfied with the state of hell economics because she's not happy about the implications of unchecked inflation. In any case, in terms of jokey stuff i found this year:

- this recurring trope;
- a new taboo with pokemon go apparently.

There were a couple of years when the 7th month also coincided with the month of Ramadan, and there is a Muslim belief that all spirits, ghosts and demons are chained from leaving hell during that month, and considering the possible bureaucratic snafu led me to write a sketch about it. (I can't find any recordings, probably for everyone's sakes).
posted by cendawanita at 7:34 AM on August 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm in the midst of a month of China travel, currently in Cheng Du. So that's what was going on last night - while walking back to the hotel we kept passing these usually-unattended lines of lit red candles and smoldering sticks of incense stuck into the sides of the sidewalk; and once, several people huddled around a bigger group, also burning a small pile of ghost money. Thanks for the post, cendawanita!
posted by Rash at 8:39 AM on August 17, 2016

I love the smell of the paper burning. It's nice to come down in the morning and see the offerings and the paper fires being tended by people on the walkways for the festival - there's something about having a festival marked and being able to explain it to my kids in turn and remember learning the same "don't step there, that's what the special buns and paper are for" rules as a kid, as part of being in a multi-religious community. It was a full moon tonight with children laughing and running about and sparks from the open fires drifting across - just lovely.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 9:06 AM on August 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

If you find this interesting, you may enjoy The Girl With Ghost Eyes by M.H. Boroson--fantasy novel about the Daoist afterlife set in 1890s San Francisco Chinatown.
posted by Schmucko at 11:05 AM on August 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

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