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"Da Jui" (Hungry Ghost Festival)
China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore but also throughout the world wherever Chinese communities are found
During 7th lunar month gates of Hell are opened … Spirits roam earth … Festival is a way to keep ghosts happy
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.