1) Prayers for Hungry Ghost festival is held at the market’s main lobby
The Hungry Ghost Festival (中元节) falls on the 7th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. It is an important yearly tradition where our market association prays to and reciprocate the spirits for their blessings to keep the market safe and prosperous. The market association marks a day within the 2 weeks of the Hungry Ghost Festival to hold elaborate prayers and offerings. This is followed by a dinner and auction before the end of the week. Let’s take a look at the interesting happenings on the day of the offering.
2) The offerings are all neatly stacked.
2a) The offerings from another angle
3) This section on the floor consists of toys for “children”.
4) Huge roasted pigs
5) And roasted duck for everyone
6) More Ducks to go around
7) Boxes of groceries for praying to be distributed to members later
8) This is the main altar
9) Another smaller altar at the back
10) These are the items to be auctioned off during the dinner later this week
11) Even more items for auction
12) A table for the ‘brothers’
13) No expenses spared
14) Joss sticks are placed all everything to demarcate them for the ‘brothers’
15) Prayers begin
16) People offer joss sticks
17) This year’s lucky 炉主(Altar Owner) and 副炉主(Deputy Altar Owner) in front of the lucky number ‘7889’. HUAT Ah!
18) it has been a few hours already
19) Getting ready to burn the joss paper
20) Stacking the joss paper
21) More people helping out
22) Wannabe artistic shot
23) The joss paper is almost filled to the brim
24) Burning in progress
25) While the joss paper is burning, the roasted pigs are sent upstairs to be cut into smaller portions
26) The crackling sound from the roasted pig being cut makes my mouth water
27) Everyone helps to pack up the ducks for distribution
28) After the ducks, on to the fruits and Kuehs
29) Everything is chaotic but strangely efficient
30) The event is over after everyone collects their share
31) This is the full package. It costs $120 for a year’s membership and we get all these plus seats for the coming week’s dinner. Major value!
32) A closer look at my portion of the duck and roast pork