Unlike the rest of the team at Atlas I am very superstitious. When one of our Chinese translators found this out, they told me about this traditional Chinese festival The Hungry Ghost Festival.
This is a Chinese festival oozing with superstition. It is believed that throughout the whole month of the festival the gates of hell are open and certain activities are way too risky. These activities include swimming or generally being near water, as this is where the souls of the damned are waiting to pull you under!
It is also believed that dead ancestors can influence your luck in life. During this festival it is traditional to hold big family meals and set a place for deceased family members. Small offerings are left to the spirits and paper effigies of daily items such as money, cars, TVs etc are burned for the spirits to use in the afterlife.
Throughout the festival in true Chinese style the streets are abuzz with puppet and opera shows for the spirits to enjoy and to keep them happy.
Ironically, floating lanterns are filled with Lotus flowers and candles that are released into the water, and into the air. The objective of this activity is to give direction to lost souls and spirits.
I don’t know about you but the Atlas team won’t be going on any boat trips or picnics by the lake this month, you never know!
2012 – Ghost Month – August 17 to September 15
2012 – Ghost Festival – August 30