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Thread: Taboos during Chinese Ghost Festival?

  1. #41
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    Default Re: Taboos during Chinese Ghost Festival?

    Ah... The annoying white milky sap frm da Banana tree that irritates ur skin.
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    Default Re: Taboos during Chinese Ghost Festival?

    Quote Originally Posted by jsbn
    Ah... The annoying white milky sap frm da Banana tree that irritates ur skin.
    Hahaha! Good source of itching agent when you cannot get itching powder. Mix this in water and load your water pistolas! Too bad no super soakers in those days. Hahaha!


    My cousins used to visit and was shocked at what we did to the banana... they were afraid the friendly neighbourhood pontianak (<- insert favourite ghost here ) would visit us... ANd we said... yeah, its probably a mutilated pontianak with no arms or legs after what we did...

  3. #43

    Default Re: Taboos during Chinese Ghost Festival?

    Don't swim as well yah..

  4. #44
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    Default Re: Taboos during Chinese Ghost Festival?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hommie
    Do take note of the differences and not do a comparism between the dialect group as 'excessive'.
    dont u think it is still excessive when pple commemorate and burn paper money for one whole month when more important events like chinese new year got less attention in singapore?

    I dunno why pple burn so much offering to ghosts when there are other historic pple or events which are more worth to commemorate. Are they really so scare of ghost or what they want is just 4D numbers? I will prefer my descendent to know about the story of Qu Yuan, Hou Yi and the origin of moon cake, rice dumplings...etc, than to scare about hungry ghosts roaming on the street for one month.
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  5. #45
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    Default Re: Taboos during Chinese Ghost Festival?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wai
    dont u think it is still excessive when pple commemorate and burn paper money for one whole month when more important events like chinese new year got less attention in singapore?

    I dunno why pple burn so much offering to ghosts when there are other historic pple or events which are more worth to commemorate. Are they really so scare of ghost or what they want is just 4D numbers? I will prefer my descendent to know about the story of Qu Yuan, Hou Yi and the origin of moon cake, rice dumplings...etc, than to scare about hungry ghosts roaming on the street for one month.
    Please quote me evidence of families or peoples who were burning paper money everyday for a month. There's only a few days where people do that. Different culture pratice differently how could you compare an apple and oranges?

    I also want my descendents to know more about Lao Zi and Chinese's own religion, taoism whom many have misunderstood but its their freedom. Likewise, its your freedom to educate your descendents anyway you want but kindly have a bit of respect for others culture and freedom.

  6. #46
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    Default Re: Taboos during Chinese Ghost Festival?

    I don't know how people think during this Ghost Festival.

    As for me, it reminds me of my heritage, how my ancestors came about in South East Asia. The hardships and triumphs.....from nothing to something. I burnt paper and joss sticks ...not because I want good luck. But paying respect to those who paved a betta future for me.

    If there is ghost, we shouldn't be scared of it. Coz one day, we are part of it.

  7. #47
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    Default Re: Taboos during Chinese Ghost Festival?

    nah..i am NOT telling anyone to stop commemorate hungry ghost festival, but i just want to highlight that there are also many other traditions and festivals that are meaningful and we should not neglect.

    i have not seen any day when no one burn their offerings because i can still find ashes on the ground every day, wish pple can be more considerate and burn their offerings in the metal bins provided and best if they will burn everything day want within a day or two instead of spread over the month

    during this month there will be ashes fly into my room and i will down with flu and running nose easily
    Last edited by Wai; 17th August 2005 at 06:58 PM.
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  8. #48
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    Default Re: Taboos during Chinese Ghost Festival?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wai
    nah..i am NOT telling anyone to stop commemorate hungry ghost festival, but i just want to highlight that there are also many other traditions and festivals that are meaningful and we should not neglect.

    i have not seen any day when no one burn their offerings because i can still find ashes on the ground every day, wish pple can be more considerate and burn their offerings in the metal bins provided and best if they will burn everything day want within a day or two instead of spread over the month

    during this month there will be ashes fly into my room and i will down with flu and running nose easily
    Eh..I think this is the month when you can burn thing on the ground and throw the offerings and won't get fine..
    BTW i think the metal bins is never enough.

  9. #49
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    Default Re: Taboos during Chinese Ghost Festival?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wai
    nah..i am NOT telling anyone to stop commemorate hungry ghost festival, but i just want to highlight that there are also many other traditions and festivals that are meaningful and we should not neglect.

    i have not seen any day when no one burn their offerings because i can still find ashes on the ground every day, wish pple can be more considerate and burn their offerings in the metal bins provided and best if they will burn everything day want within a day or two instead of spread over the month

    during this month there will be ashes fly into my room and i will down with flu and running nose easily
    No but calling a festival 'excessive' is not exactly respect or is it highlighting others. You are pushing the blame of a few to the entire festival itself. Most people burnt only at two days of the seventh month, beginning and end but there are those who can't make it and do it on others. It won't be the entire month.

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    Default Re: Taboos during Chinese Ghost Festival?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hommie
    No but calling a festival 'excessive' is not exactly respect or is it highlighting others. You are pushing the blame of a few to the entire festival itself. Most people burnt only at two days of the seventh month, beginning and end but there are those who can't make it and do it on others. It won't be the entire month.
    Truth truth..
    Part of our custom.. if this is also lost.. already not much left for our next generation to see, feel and involve in.

  11. #51

    Default Re: Taboos during Chinese Ghost Festival?

    Quote Originally Posted by sbs99
    any suggestions? =)
    if we can hide inside fort siloso before they lock the gate it will be thrilling.

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    Default Re: Taboos during Chinese Ghost Festival?

    Religious tolerance is what can hold Singapore together. Taoists burn paper money during 7th month, Muslims take time off on Fridays for their prayers, Hindhus block a road off for Thaipusam, Christians gather in numbers for evangelistic events etc.

    Every religion has its pratices. Singaporeans have managed to accept our cultural or ethnic differences. So let's not just be tolerant, let's be understanding!

  13. #53
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    Default Re: Taboos during Chinese Ghost Festival?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wai
    nah..i am NOT telling anyone to stop commemorate hungry ghost festival, but i just want to highlight that there are also many other traditions and festivals that are meaningful and we should not neglect.

    i have not seen any day when no one burn their offerings because i can still find ashes on the ground every day, wish pple can be more considerate and burn their offerings in the metal bins provided and best if they will burn everything day want within a day or two instead of spread over the month

    during this month there will be ashes fly into my room and i will down with flu and running nose easily
    Don't worry, in another 20yrs time, when the younglings don't even know what offerings to burn and offer, ur flu and running nose problem will be solved.

    Unfortunately, different dialect groups have different days to burn offerings. You might have noticed an increase in burning activity these days simply because from now till like the 16th lunar month, ppl frm the different dialect groups will be burning their stuff. From my gathering, the Cantonese would usually burn their stuff on the 13th or 14th. Teochews and Hokkiens on the 15th or 16th. It all depends on the individual practices of the different dialect groups.

    Consideration? I guess u can tell that to the older folks who believes that their offerings might not be received by their loved ones all the offerings are all 'mixed up'. Yes, some older folks still horde onto the mentality. Everyone of us here receiving Western Education can cast all that we'd learnt to the 4 winds every 7th lunar month. Its the younger ppl (those in their 40s and 50s) that burn their offerings in the bins instead. But being the tropical country that Singapore is, and not forgetting the fact that the bins are not covered, ashes are bound to fly all over the place. Perhaps the cleaners in ur area are really lazy, but I do see cleaners in my area clearing up the ashes every morning.

    As for the other more meaningful festivals, I hope u'll be glad to know that the older folks still celebrate them. These festivals are usually observed at temples instead of their own homes. The burning of joss papers may or may not apply to the Birthday of the various Deities and Gods.

    All these festivities, unfortunately will probably die out in another 15 or 20yrs.

    Being a Singaporean and having served ur NS, I thought u'll knew abt all these stuff.
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    Default Re: Taboos during Chinese Ghost Festival?

    Quote Originally Posted by soma
    Eh..I think this is the month when you can burn thing on the ground and throw the offerings and won't get fine..
    BTW i think the metal bins is never enough.
    It depends on how hardworking ur estate cleaners are.
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  15. #55
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    Default Re: Taboos during Chinese Ghost Festival?

    It would be a sad day if these ethnic festivals die out and we become a cookie cutter society.

    Though I do not believe in Taoism, I still believe that these ethnic festivals provide a feast of colours and variety to what is already a stale existence.
    We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities. - Oscar Wilde

  16. #56
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    Default Re: Taboos during Chinese Ghost Festival?

    Do u guys know that there are also Ghost Festival in Japan and Mexico as well?

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    Default Re: Taboos during Chinese Ghost Festival?

    er....dun complain about other people burning incense paper, ashes on the ground?
    Last edited by Yildun; 17th August 2005 at 09:59 PM.

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    Default Background to the Chinese 'Ghost' Festival

    i'm not a religion/culture expert, but just to share some information about this festival i picked up from readings over the years ...

    Zhong Yuan Jie 中元节 is also known as Yu Lan Pen Hui 盂兰盆会, the latter term came from Buddhist tradition.

    Under the ancient Toaist calender, there are 3 important dates to make offerings to the deities, Shang Yuan 上元 (15th day of the first lunar month) Zhong Yuan 中元 (15th day of the seventh lunar month) and Xia Yuan 下元 (15th day of the tenth lunar month)

    Shang Yuan offerings are dedicated to the Heavenly Palace 天宫, Zhong Yuan offerings are dedicated to the Earthly Palace 地宫 and Xia Yuan offerings are dedicated to the Water Palace 水宫. These three festivities are closely related to the Lunar Calender used in traditional Chinese farming society. Shang Yuan and Xia Yuan have more or less 'evolved' into other festivities depending on regions, of which many Southern Chinese now offer prayers to Heavenly Palace on 9th day of first lunar month instead of the 15th day due to changes along history, but the 15th day remained as Yuan Xiao Festival 元宵节

    Making offerings to the Earthly Palace during Zhong Yuan is probably due to the starting of the harvest period in ancient times. This tradition has been reinterpreted by the 'evolved' Toaism as a time of judgement on people roaming in the human realm, thus the development of this festivity into making large offerings to appease aggressive spirits that may bring harm. (do note that Toaism, like Buddhism, remained a 'non-religion' until about 2000 years back when it became mixed with other superstitious religious practices)

    As for Yu Lan Pen Hui (Ullanbana) it started as a period of time (in ancient Buddhism) when devotees make donations and offer alms to practising sangha (Buddhist monks and nuns) during the very wet monsoon season. In ancient times, during monsoon season, diseases spread easily and daily movement is very difficult. Out of compassion and kindness, Buddhist devotees make offerings to the sangha so that the latter do not have to travel as much for their daily needs. These acts of kindness and compassion also serve to remind the devotees of the giving (away) of self.

    When Yu Lan Pen Hui was introduced into China some 2000 years back, it was 'absorbed' by Chinese Toaism followers. The misinterpretation of spiritual practice led to the month long 'Hungry Ghost' festivities under the superstitious Toaism.

    Today, many Taoist practices seem superstitious and without logic, but we have to be mindful that this is the 'evolved' Toaism we are seeing and not the original Taoism from Lao Zi 老子 and Dao De Jing 道德经 (direct translation as the 'Scriptures of Moral,' most likely the wrong translation but the idea is there) These superstitious practises, however, often originate from some ancient wisdom of the traditional farming society (but many are pure invented superstition also) i do take part in these activities as well, though i'm not a believer, but more for the community and family spirit embedded in them.

    those interested can refer to the Chinese farming calender and almanac regarding ancient Chinese knowledge of the seasons and their link to the festivities. The Chinese lunar calender has remained an accurate calender which never failed to forecast the solstices, the equinoxes and even the eclipses.

  19. #59
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    Default Re: Background to the Chinese 'Ghost' Festival

    Quote Originally Posted by eikin
    i'm not a religion/culture expert, but just to share some information about this festival i picked up from readings over the years ...

    Shang Yuan offerings are dedicated to the Heavenly Palace 天宫, Zhong Yuan offerings are dedicated to the Earthly Palace 地宫 and Xia Yuan offerings are dedicated to the Water Palace 水宫. These three festivities are closely related to the Lunar Calender used in traditional Chinese farming society. Shang Yuan and Xia Yuan have more or less 'evolved' into other festivities depending on regions, of which many Southern Chinese now offer prayers to Heavenly Palace on 9th day of first lunar month instead of the 15th day due to changes along history, but the 15th day remained as Yuan Xiao Festival 元宵节(do note that Toaism, like Buddhism, remained a 'non-religion' until about 2000 years back when it became mixed with other superstitious religious practices)
    Some correction here. Taoism is a big melting pot of the existing believes that is more than 4000 years(Earlier than Shang dynasties as 已经), new philosophies (by Lao Zi 老子, Zhuang Zi 庄子, Lie Zi 列子) and later the recreation of a combined religion by Zhang Sang Feng(张三风).

    And that the southern Chinese(Hokkien especially) pray to 天公(ti gong, loosely translated as Heavenly Father/God) aka Jade Emperor(玉皇大帝) not 天宫.

  20. #60
    Senior Member Hommie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Background to the Chinese 'Ghost' Festival

    Quote Originally Posted by eikin
    Today, many Taoist practices seem superstitious and without logic, but we have to be mindful that this is the 'evolved' Toaism we are seeing and not the original Taoism from Lao Zi 老子 and Dao De Jing 道德经 (direct translation as the 'Scriptures of Moral,' most likely the wrong translation but the idea is there) These superstitious practises, however, often originate from some ancient wisdom of the traditional farming society (but many are pure invented superstition also) i do take part in these activities as well, though i'm not a believer, but more for the community and family spirit embedded in them.
    Depending on how you interpret, Taoism did not start with start with Lao Zi 老子s 道德经 but rather Lao Zi revolutionalise of thinking the way. It started 4-5000 years ago with a mystical fortune telling using animal bones and tortoise shell that evolved to today's palm, face reading(手,面相), Fengshui (风水) and Ba gua(八卦).

    Its Zhang San Feng who combine the philosophies of 道德经, Flute of Nature, Flow with Wind and the earlier's mystical believes that it evolved to today.

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