Friday, October 29, 2010

Chinese Halloween?

Chinese Halloween? In China it is called the Ghost Festival. Some say this festival finds its origins in Chinese Buddhism, others claim the origins to be deeply rooted in Chinese folk religion. But what is the Ghost Festival? Good question! On this day it is believed that ghosts and spirits visit the human realm. Ghost Festival is unlike the Chinese Qingming Festival and Chung Yuen Festival. During the Qingming and Chung Yuen Festivals descendants honor their deceased ancestors. Traditional activities during the Ghost Festival include burning incense, joss paper, and papier-mache items in the form of every day items such as clothes and fine good. These activities are conducted for the pleasure and entertainment of the visiting ancestors.

Another Chinese festival with ghosts includes buying and releasing miniature boats on the water. The miniature boats and lanterns signify directions for the lost ghosts and spirits of ancestors. More on that festival later!

Do our Chinese friends share candy during Ghost Festival like we do during Halloween? The Ghost Festival tradition is a little different. Rather then candy eating, families prepare a big vegetarian feast and set places at the table for their ghost ancestors. Wow! Now that could get interesting!

Have a safe and happy Halloween! And remember...practice what you know.

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