Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Ghost Festival

Nice moon tonight. Well, actually the moon's always nice and full on the 15th day of every month in the chinese calendar. Well, it is the 15th day of the Ghost Festival today. Apparently, I don't quite know if the Gates of Hell officially open or close on the 15th day or if there was any significance at all until I had a conversation with a girlfriend yesterday, which was the 14th day.

P: Primrose
V: Vanessa

P: Actually, what's Ghost Festival? Gates of Hell open or close?

V: Aiyah, you chinese also you don't know ah? Ghost Festival starts on the 1st day of the 7th month in the chinese calendar but chat yuet sap sei (14th day of the 7th month) which is today, is the day people celebrate.

P: Why 14th and not 1st or 15th?

V: Don't know. Probably 14 means sat sei means definitely die. So it's a good day for the ghosts kua.

P: So Gates of Hell open or close?

V: Gates of Hell already opened on the 1st day of the 7th month liau. That means the spirits were already floating around for the last 14 days. The Gates will close on the 30th day though this year, the gates will close on the 60th day. Only that on the 14th day, it officially opens. But the chinese only observe the first 30 days.

P: How come there are two 7th month this year? How can there be two of the same months in any calendar?

V: Oh, that one I don't know but I know that it's called yuen yuet (double months). If there is a double month in the year, Chinese New Year will fall in the month of February. Otherwise, it will be January. So since there was no double month last year, Chinese New Year this year was in January. And since there is double month this year, Chinese New Year will be in February next year. Understand?

P: Wah! I think I was told that I was born in the year with a double 8th month lar. So I have very nice see san pat chi (chinese birthdate) because it's auspicious. Eh, so double months are not just exclusive to certain months of the year?

V: No, there are double months for ANY months in the year too! Wei, don't go home late tonight. The ghosts' presence are the strongest tonight.

P: Choy!

V: It's true. If you see wan tai (weak in spirit), you can "see" dirty stuff.

P: Choy, choy, choy!!

V: If you see people burning and praying, don't look, ok? Just look ahead and walk straight into the house, understand?

P: Eh, why?

V: Because you're not "celebrating" and burning like the rest. So the ghosts might be "angry".

P: Choy, choy, choy!!

Thus ended the enlightenment of the oh-so-educational Q&A session about the Ghost Festival. Now, can someone tell me why there are double months in the chinese calendar? I still want to know how...

4 flowers for this post
Hmmm... very interesting conversation. I learnt something too. I also want to know why there are double months. Tell us when you have found the answer!
fish fish | Homepage | 09.08.06 - 7:53 am | #


I think The Star posted an article on the double Ghost months sometime back. I can't remember much liao.

Anyway, if there are two ghost months then that means I'll have two birthdays!!! Muahahaha. ;p
titoki | Homepage | 09.08.06 - 2:01 pm | #


met any " heng tai" ? oops !
foodcrazee | Homepage | 12.08.06 - 9:24 pm | #


call me stupid, call me ignorant, i didn't know much about this ghost festive thingy (or mayb the faint-hearted me just didn't want to know) ;p
kruy | Homepage | 13.08.06 - 3:50 am | #


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