Experience Hong Kong's Hungry Ghosts Festival and dive straight into Chinese culture as you witness a number of traditions, events and performances.
- When? 5th September 2017
- Where? Throughout Hong Kong
- Price: free
If we told you the Hungry Ghosts Festival sees people tossing money into burning fires, you might begin to wonder if these people have actually been possessed by the spirits that apparently roam the earth during the seventh month in the lunar calendar. Yet don't worry, luckily it's just fake money. In fact this age-old ritual is carried out to appease the spirits, so here's hoping we have a spare (fake) fiver if we visit Hong Kong in September.
Falling on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month every year, Hungry Ghosts Festival is a largely celebrated occasion in Hong Kong. In Chinese culture, the seventh lunar month is considered the ghost month and it is believed that deceased ancestors are free from the lower realm on the 15th day.
Traditions for this festival go back many years and you will see people attending roadside fires where they throw fake money and other things into the pit which they believe will help their ancestors in the afterlife. Another belief is centred around leaving food out to curb the appetite of the 'hungry ghosts', hence the name of the festival. In homes, families may place a meal at an empty chair while eating at the table. A word of warning - don't mess with a ghost's food on the 15th day!
Also on this day, Buddhists and Taoists perform rituals across the city, Chinese opera performances are held on bamboo stages and there are usually a number of exhibitions and events in places such as Victoria Park.
This is a great time to visit Hong Kong to get a taste for Chinese culture. Even if you don't believe in ghosts, we bet you won't be taking any chances here.
- Get there: Use the MTR subway system to get around.
- Stay: Find a hotel in central Hong Kong to be immersed in the action.
*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!