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Writing from Notes: the Hungry Ghost Festival


    What follows is an example of how you can use notes to help you write a text. The notes are based on information taken from various Internet sources and personal knowledge. The text below them contains the same information, but in sentences and paragraphs. Notice also that the order of the notes has been changed a little. Use notes in a similar way when you do your own research about a festival.


    "Da Jui" (Hungry Ghost Festival)

    Location

    China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore but also throughout the world wherever Chinese communities are found

    Purpose

    During 7th lunar month gates of Hell are opened Spirits roam earth Festival is a way to keep ghosts happy

    Activities

    Food

    Clothing

    No special clothing, but the Chinese opera performers wear very elaborate traditional costumes made from silk

    THE HUNGRY GHOST FESTIVAL

    The festival of the Hungry Ghosts ("Da Jui" in Mandarin) is held in China and other countries with a large Chinese community. It takes place during the seventh lunar month, when it is believed that the gates of Hell are opened and spirits roam the earth.

    People fear the spirits, especially those who are lonely and have no living relatives. To keep these "hungry ghosts" away from their homes, people burn "Hell Money" outside their houses as a gift for the ghosts to use in the underworld. They also leave food such as oranges and bananas.

    Chinese opera ("wayang") are performed in marquees and empty seats are left at the front for the invisible ghosts. The performers wear elaborate silk costumes and bright make-up. The ghosts are served food such as fish, meat and vegetable dishes.

    The seventh lunar month is believed to be an unlucky one and people avoid getting married then. Similarly, they do not make long journeys.

    Frankie Meehan