Friday, August 05, 2005

Gates of Hell Opens

Tonight, the gates of hell will open for a month and the hungry ghosts will roam this realm among mortals according to Chinese beliefs. It's the Hungry Ghost Festival. There are those who can see these entities and they would try their best not to leave their houses unnecessarily during this time as they are too afraid to see the overwhelming amount of these entities roaming around freely. Many claim to have experienced/seen such entities especially along Scotland Road near the Penang Turf Club. The 'population' is so densed, it puts to shame the packed pubs/clubs during weekends. This is of course a very 'popular' place for fatal road accidents and it is also near the crematorium and cemetary at Jalan Batu Gantong. Believers would burn incense, jossticks and candles outside their homes to appease these souls. They would also leave sweets and cakes as offerings to both gain good luck and prevent the hungry ghosts from harming/disturbing them. More importantly, the reason why the Chinese celebrate this festival is to remember their dead family members and pay tribute to them. Whether you believe in this or not, it won't hurt to be that extra careful during this period.

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