-- Air Itam Dam
-- Balik Pulau
-- Bats' Cave Temple
-- Batu Ferringhi
-- Batu Maung
-- Botanic Gardens
-- Bus Penang
-- Bus Terminal Sg Nibong
-- Buses Express Sg Nibong
-- Buying Camera
-- Chowrasta Bazaar
-- Clock Tower
-- Cycling in Penang
-- Escape Theme Park
-- Ferry to Langkawi/ Medan
-- Fort Cornwallis
-- George Town
-- George Town - Map
-- Golden Sands
-- Hawker Stalls
-- Hawker Centre Red Garden
-- Hop-on Hop-off Bus
-- Hotels
-- Hotel Reservation
-- Hungry Ghost Festival
-- Kapitan Kling Mosque
-- Kek Lok Si
-- Khoo Kongsi
-- Komtar Building
-- Kuan Yin
-- Lorong Kulit - Flea Market
-- Massage at the Beach
-- Monkey Beach
-- Nightmarkets
-- Pantai Kerachut - turtles
-- Penang Hill
-- Penang Road Map
-- Pulau Aman
-- Pulau Jerejak
-- Pulau Payar
-- Rasa Sayang
-- Reclining Buddha
-- Saint Anne's Church
-- Satellite Photo
-- Shopping
-- Shopping 1st Avenue
-- Shopping Gurney Paragon
-- Shopping Gurney Plaza
-- Shopping Prangin Mall
-- Shopping Queensbay
-- Snake Temple
-- Spice Garden
-- Swettenham Pier
-- Tanjung Bungah
-- Teluk Bahang
Kuala Lumpur
The Highlands
The Islands
Negeri Sembilan
The East Coast
The West Coast
Malaysia with Children
Hotel Reservation
Malaysia with Children
Hotel Reservation

Golf & Green Fees
Malaysia Cooking


Hungry Ghosts
(Phor Thor Festival)

Ben van Wijnen

The legend.

In the month of August (that's the seventh month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar)  the Chinese believe, that the gates of hell will open. 
The dead souls (the Hungry Ghosts) will be released and roam the streets of the living in this month. Children and young toddlers should be kept from going out of the house, because the "Hungry Ghosts" could lure them to the kingdom of the dead. 
Having a wedding or moving to another house during this period is considered as bad luck and should never be practiced.
And God forbid that one should die during  this month!
Going to the beach for example, would not be allowed, because many tragedies have  taken place in the sea, and evil ghosts may  be eager to take more lives!

The festival of the Hungry Ghosts is celebrated in great scale by the Chinese in Penang. There are many makeshift altars and stages put up along various roads in Georgetown.
During this period, which is especially prominent during the 14th and 15th day of the Chinese seventh month, devotees will prepare glorious food to give that to the dead souls. 

The Chinese will ‘invite’ their dead relatives for a meal and burn joss sticks, hell money in surprisingly large denominations, daily essentials of paper clothes, shoes, TV, radio, and even cars and other luxuries. Such practice is done to ensure that their present generation and generations to come would be blessed, and free from any imminent harm.
All ghosts must be fed and entertained. 
Another aspect of this celebration among the Chinese community everywhere, would be the stage operas and other musical performances, said to provide entertainment for these dead souls. Such is the grandeur of the occasion and regarded closely by many.

The 30th day of the seventh moon is the last day of the festival .At midnight, the ghosts return to Hades and the gates are shut after them. Paper deities, money, and other goodies are burnt in a giant bonfire as a final gift.
There are many places where the food, that they offered, is then given to the poor.

The Chinese will resume their daily activities after this period. With a sense of relief and ease, faced with the confidence that they have fulfilled their duties towards their dead ancestors.






  Ben van Wijnen




Analytics Made Easy - StatCounter
Copyright © 2001 - 2021 WINT. All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy | Facebook: