Today is the first day of lunar 7th month or more commonly known as, Hungry Ghost Festival or 中元节, for chinese worldwide.
Wikipedia explanation – Ghost Festival
Aside from big swamp of believers at temples, praying and bring offerings, you’ll probably see loads of neighbors with big packs of paper-made houses / money / boxes and all, to offer to ancestors and wandering spirits. It’s a little like Qing Ming festival, just that the receiving parties are not as specific this time round (or so that’s why i understand).
Loads of paper products / offerings will be burnt, for sure. One will probably notice it, only when overwhelm by the burnt smell… Well, i’m not fond of that smell either but it’s a tradition for most and the festival only happen once a year, so it’ll be good to just bear with it for this one month.
I’m looking forward to watching those Getais (live music performance for the dead and alive) and live opera performances. It’s just some stuff we don’t get to see much of in recent years and it’s somewhat a tradition, to have such performances. Plus, it gives one a chance to learn how this once a year business works and how creative they get and maybe to shoot some nice photos. Of course, without offending any living beings or spirits 🙂
Oh, just to share what the oldbies used to nag during this period:
– head home early, do not stay out till late… (explanation: for one’s safety)
– try not to step or disturb offerings and apologize if do… (explanation: well no one likes their stuff being kicked around and messed up right? same logic i feel)
Not sure if there are anymore, can’t remember…
But feel free to comment if you had heard more of such old folk warnings from your parents or grandparents or anyone you know 🙂