Burning of the Tai Soo Yah Image tonight   2 comments


Burning of the Tai Soo Yah Image tonight

Burning of the Tai Soo Yah Image of the Fettes Park Wet Market, Penang tonight – before midnight of Wednesday, 17 August, 2016 ( 15th Day of the 7th Moon ).

SP Lim

Burning of the Tai Soo Yah Image tonight - Wednesday, 17 August, 2016. " Tai Soo Yah Image is carried and placed on top of a big pile of Joss Paper "

Burning of the Tai Soo Yah Image tonight – Wednesday, 17 August, 2016. ” Tai Soo Yah Image is carried and placed on top of a big pile of Joss Paper “

Burning of the Tai Soo Yah Image tonight - Wednesday, 17 August, 2016. " The bottom layer of Joss Paper is litted by the devotees "

Burning of the Tai Soo Yah Image tonight – Wednesday, 17 August, 2016. ” The bottom layer of Joss Paper is litted by the devotees “

Burning of the Tai Soo Yah Image tonight - Wednesday, 17 August, 2016.

Burning of the Tai Soo Yah Image tonight – Wednesday, 17 August, 2016.

Burning of the Tai Soo Yah Image tonight - Wednesday, 17 August, 2016.

Burning of the Tai Soo Yah Image tonight – Wednesday, 17 August, 2016.

Burning of the Tai Soo Yah Image tonight - Wednesday, 17 August, 2016. " About 20 minutes later, the Tai Soo Yah Paper effigy is completely burnt. "

Burning of the Tai Soo Yah Image tonight – Wednesday, 17 August, 2016. ” About 20 minutes later, the Tai Soo Yah Paper effigy is completely burnt. “

Extracted from Wikipedia:-

Celebrations and practices

Offerings are prepared for hungry ghosts during Ghost month in Hong Kong.

See also: Ghost Festival

In Chinese ancestor worship 鬼法界, 鬼界 is “the realm of hungry ghosts”. There is a belief of the oral tradition of Chinese villagers that the ghosts of the ancestors may be granted permission to return to the world of the living at a certain time of the year, hungry and ready to take what they can from there, if these spirits had not been given sufficient offerings by their living relatives.

A festival called the Hungry Ghost Festival (TC: 盂蘭盆, SC: 盂兰盆 Yúlánpén) is held to honor the hungry ancestor ghosts and food and drink is put out to satisfy their needs. The Hungry Ghost Festival is celebrated during the 7th month of the Chinese calendar. It also falls at the same time as a full moon, the new season, the fall harvest, the peak of monastic asceticism, the rebirth of ancestors, and the assembly of the local community. According to tradition, during this month, the gates of hell are opened up and the hungry ghosts are free to roam the earth where they seek food and entertainment. These ghosts are believed to be ancestors of those who have forgotten to pay tribute to them after they died. They have long thin necks because they have not been fed by their families. Tradition states that families should offer prayers to their deceased relatives and burn “hell money“. It is believed that “hell money” is a valid currency in the underworld and helps ghosts to live comfortably in the afterlife. People also burn other forms of joss paper such as paper houses, cars and televisions to please the ghosts.

Families also pay tribute to other unknown wandering ghosts so that these homeless souls do not intrude on their lives and bring misfortune. A big feast is held for the ghosts on the 15th day of the 7th month, where people bring samples of food and place them on the offering table to please the ghosts and ward off bad luck. Live shows are also put on and everyone is invited to attend. The first row of seats is always empty as this is where the ghosts are supposed to sit to better enjoy the live entertainment. The shows are always put on at night and at high volumes, so that the sound attracts and pleases the ghosts. These acts were better known as “Merry-making”.

The chief Taoist priest of the town wears an ornate crown of five gold and red panels, a practice borrowed from Buddhism. This represented the five most powerful deities (The Jade Emperor, Guan Yu, Tu Di Gong, Mazu and Xi Wangmu). He is believed to become their voice on earth.

A sacrificial altar and a chair are built for a priest either at a street entrance or in front of the village. The BodhisattvaKsitigarbha sits in front of the chair. Under the chair are plates of rice flour and peaches. Sitting on the altar are three spirit tablets and three funeral banners. After noon, sheep, pigs, chicken, fruits, and cakes are donated by families that are displayed on the altar. A priest will put a triangular paper banner of three colors with special characters on every sacrifice. After the music begins to play, the priest hits the bell to call the hungry ghosts back to the table. He then throws the rice and peaches into the air in all directions to distribute them to the ghosts.

During the evening, incense is burnt in front of the doors of households. Incense stands for prosperity, the more incense burnt, the greater one’s prosperity. During the festival, shops are closed to leave the streets open for the ghosts. In the middle of each street stands an altar of incense with fresh fruit and sacrifices displayed on it. Behind the altar, monks will sing songs that it is believed only the ghosts can understand. This rite is called shi ge’r, meaning “singing ghost songs”.

Fifteen days after the feast, to make sure all the hungry ghosts find their way back to hell, people float lanterns on water and set them outside their houses. These lanterns are made by setting a lotus flower-shaped lantern on a piece of board. Hungry ghosts are believed to have found their way back when the lanterns go out.

Inserted by SP Lim

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2 responses to “Burning of the Tai Soo Yah Image tonight

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  1. kewl reallY! 2 me lol… no crazier than the burning man festival in da usa 🙂
    awesome photos U had here concernin’ this traditionional celebration in ur country …
    enjoyed the posts concernin this… 🙂 Q

    Liked by 1 person

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