Let Us All Be Considerate This Hungry Ghost Festival

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The Hungry Ghost Festival is a festival marked by Buddhist and Taoist religions to recognize the ghosts and spirits of those who had departed. The festival begins on the 15th Day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar, commonly known as the Ghost Day – the day when the spirits and ghosts of the departed come out from the lower realm to visit the living in the mortal world.

It is during this period that many Chinese of the Taoist and Buddhist religion will begin burning joss and incense papers as offerings for their departed kin and ancestors. This age old practice is held in the belief that these paper offerings, which can be in the form of money, clothing, and other essentials may reach the deceased for use in the ghostly realm.

In Singapore, the town council has been kind enough to provide incense burners throughout HDB estates for nearby residents to safely burn their paper offerings. However, there are still people who still choose to burn their paper offerings indiscriminately, damaging parked vehicles, public property, and endangering the safety of others.

For those of you out there who are making your paper offerings during this Hungry Ghost Festival, please make sure you burn your offerings in the incense burners provided. There isn’t a lot of publicly usable space available in Singapore, but yet the government has provided the means to continue this age old practice at convenient locations. Let’s be considerate to those around us as we continue to practice our traditions.

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