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On 19 June 2007

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    Tuesday, July 25, 2006

    Hungry Ghost Festival

    Also known as- Yuan2 Xiao1 Jie1

    Felt an urge to blog about this months' special and significant event, after parting with Dominic, this evening. I boarded the LRT at BP station, while on the train, i witness blazzing fire along the roads of HDB flats. It was a magnificent sight, as it reminded me of movies and films that often used this particular month as a base, as a support for their horror flicks.

    Still remember "the maid", the horror film released in this particular mind. The producers and directors are obviously making us of the superstitious mind of the mass, instilling the fear when the festivals' mood is in full swing, especially on the first, the 15th and the 30th day of the month.

    Im sure around 90percent of Singapores population are aware of this festival going on in this particular month. But how many percent of them actually know the real story behind this festival.

    Firstly let me clarify something, im not 100percent sure about what i know, but it will be the best of my knowledge.

    The difference of Religion: Buddhism VS Taoism

    To the outside world, this two seemed to be closely related. The Difference lie between the different the 'god' they worship. For buddhism, they worship the Buddha(obvious), however, for Taoism, they worship a whole board of gods, when each god is specifically for certain duties, im sure that some of you out there are familar with "Feng Shen Bang" Its around that idea.

    Taoism, is the religion that is mainly responsible of burning things as a form of worship, as a way of appreciation, or rather a shield against the evil spirits, in this case, the wandering ghosts.

    WHAT HUNGRY GHOST FESTIVAL?

    In the view of taoism, many deemed that it is the month, that the king of hades would "open" the door of hell, allowing all the ghosts down there to have a "Holiday" around our dimension of world. The fruits and things burnt are sort of "free-for-all", very different from people normally burning down houses and cars(in paper), for their ancestors.

    However, in my course of the "reading scriptures class when i was young." I realised that this particular month is defined as a month of filial piety shown by a particular monk. This monk, which i forgot his name, is really miss his mom who passed away, in his dreams, he could picture his mom suffering in hell, thus, when he woke up, he decided to make some offerings for his mother. However, whenever his mom received the food, the food either burns up into ash, or was stolen by other ghosts. In order to allow his mom to have a better afterlife, the monk, started to have offer offerings of food to all the hungry ghosts, so that they would leave his mom alone, thus the name HUNGRY GHOST FESTIVAL, or yuan xiao jie.

    This is my side of story, it is supposed to be 70percent reliable. La.

    Anyway, the media had greatly distorted the image of this month. By having horror flicks at the middle of the night did not help at all. WIth the worlds' perception of roaming ghost that would appear and crawl out of the TV, or just pounce on you in the lifts, we could not imagine what the world will think of this festival with years to come.

    By the way, people is going to complain about pollution again. :((


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