17 September 2007
Hungry Ghost Month
I am beginning to miss Autumn in the States, especially when I see that night NFL games are being played in 50 degree (Fahrenheit) weather. But, Singapore has a number of Autumn festivals to help divert my attention from this. Currently, we are at the end of Hungry Ghost Month/Festival. The Chinese believe that the seventh lunar month is a time when spirits of the dead come back to earth, and they make all kinds of offerings to please them. Among these is a burning of (fake) money. Throughout the city during the last few weeks, I could see people burning the money over makeshift bonfires. Sometimes, I would just come across a smoldering pile of paper. As part of the festivities/offerings, Chinese street opera troupes stage colorful performances of Chinese legends. In Singapore, performances called Getai are staged during Hungry Ghost Festival, performed to appease the ghosts and entertain the living. I am in search of one of these performances before the month is over.