Monday, September 24, 2012

Zhong Yuan festival

It was just luck to have caught these pictures of the Zhong Yuan or Hungry Ghost festival. I was in my hometown,Taiping, Perak for our CHIJ ( Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus) alumni  lunch gathering over a weekend. My friend, PS, a childhood friend had come along too. We found time to browse in the wet market. She was dreaming of the herbs that she could  most certainly purchase to make 'perut ikan', a nyonya dish ( fish stomach with herbs and vegetables). I was only looking for fruits.

A banner saying, 'Perayaan Zhong Yuan' right at the entrance of the market  greeted us . It was lively with some townsfolk setting up tables with all sorts of food to offer to the deceased.

This traditional Chinese festival is celebrated by Chinese in many countries on the 15th night of the seventh lunar month. The Taoists believe that the spirits including those of the ancestors  visit the living 2 weeks before and after the festival. The petty traders offered a variety of food and  lots of paper money to be burned.

When we were young, we were told to limit our outdoor activities as the spirits were out and some bad luck might befall us.


  1. Wonderful pics. Looks like you had a "spirited" time.

  2. When young old folks always say 'day no talk people night no talk ghosts' especially during Hungry Ghost month.

  3. Great photos, Keats! I have never had any fondness for this "festival". It's too gaudy and irreverent for words, and the true meaning of the observance is lost on all the celebrants and their "ghost concerts" with dancing girls in skimpy outfits and hair-raising renditions of Oppa Gangnam Style.

  4. Nice to know about this tradition. great pictures.

  5. Hi Keats! It’s great to be back and enjoy your posts!!
    Fish stomach? Never heard...

    Blogtrotter Two is now in Dominica. Enjoy the rain and have a great week!

  6. Those offerings look great (and colourful)
    There must be something about having this during the Lunar eclipse.
    Here they have it during the Aadi Amavasi (Lunar eclipse)
    I have written a post on it in August.

  7. It's always great to see the kids having such fun. Have a wonderful week.


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