Hongkong's Chinese population were celebrating the Ghost Festival on Friday and Saturday (August 21-22). It's?
Hongkong's Chinese population were celebrating the Ghost Festival on Friday and Saturday (August 21-22). It's an occasion cloaked in superstition when the Chinese remember departed relatives.
In the different suburbs of Hongkong, the local authorities have erected colourful and ornate temples where the pungent fumes of joss sticks and the clashing of cymbals fill the air.
The idea is to allow the people to offer money and goods to their dead relatives -- the ghosts. The Chinese believe that people who led good lives will eventually return to earth as someone else.
Some of those celebrating the occasion were too to poor to be able to afford anything to offer -- so government officials provided them with free rice supplies and, one area, there was almost a stampede when they were distributed.
At the end of the festival, all the offerings are set on fire in a kind of ritual sacrifice. Fake money and gold in the form of papier-mache decorations provide more fuel for the flames than material goods.
But if the relatives led a bad life, then all the offerings are a waste of time. Because, according to Chinese beliefs, they will return to earth as anything from a dog to a snake.