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Penang Heritage And Cultural Legend Of Hungry Ghost Festival

Penang Heritage And Culture Celebration For Hungry Ghost Festival Many of the non-Christian Chinese people in Penang are quite superstitious and believe in many of the legendary gods.  One of the most strongly believed and seriously observed festival which involves a lot of burning big joss-sticks and joss-paper is the Hungry Ghost Festival.

The Chinese believe that the Gates of Hell in the after world will open during the 7th lunar month and the hungry ghost in hell will be freed and allowed to roam in the human living world for one month.  Hence, many activities related to praying, food offerings, continuous burning of joss-sticks and joss-paper and cash donations are arranged and practised every year.  Traditional puppet shows, live opera show or modern musical performances are also arranged according to the budget of the funds collected.  The funds were contributed by residential and business shop owners who strongly believed in the legendary prayers and offering requirements. 


They believed that all the arranged activities would please the King of Hell legendary god and the hungry ghosts so that they can be free from evil disturbances and be safe throughout the year.  During the hungry ghost month, many temporary sheds for show performances and prayers are seen everywhere around Penang, from Georgetown  heritage city to new towns and rural districts where the Chinese community is concentrated.


Celebrations such as engagements, weddings, new business openings and other important activities will always avoid being scheduled in the 7th month of the lunar calendar as it is believed to be the month of Ghost by most of the Chinese community.


Visitors planning to visit Penang are encouraged to check on annual festival celebration dates from PENANG FESTIVAL CALENDAR  in order to join in the fun of celebration when coming to the island for vacation holiday.

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