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3 Facts About The Hungry Ghost Festival

Besides the do’s and don’ts or the practices people would follow, here are some exciting things that are not usually mentioned about the Hungry Ghost Festival: 

1) The Buddhism origin story of the Hungry Ghost Festival

Image obtained from Wikipedia

 The Hungry Ghost Festival is also referred to as the “Yulanpen Festival” because of its Buddhist origin story about a monk named Mulian.

Mulian traveled to the underworld to help his mother, as she was suffering in hell for being too greedy with the money he left her to help other monks.

She was starving, so he tried to feed her some food, but it immediately turned into fire once it reached her mouth.

Buddha told him that the only way to relieve her hunger was to offer food that is placed in yulan bowls to monks on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month; hence, the name. 

Because of his actions, his mother was reincarnated into a human. 

2) Not everyone celebrates the Hungry Ghost Festival on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month.  

Image obtained from Reddit 

 The Hungry Ghost Festival is usually celebrated on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month; however, this is not always the case for everyone, as people from southern China would celebrate this holiday a day earlier. 

They began this practice long ago “to avoid being attacked by enemies during the inauspicious day” and eventually adapt to it. 

 3) People would release a lantern to the river.

Image obtained from 

In the evening of the Hungry Ghost Festival or at the end of the Ghost Month, people would write their deceased loved ones’ names in a glowing lantern and release it to a river for them to find their way home.

 Which fact surprised you the most? Comment it down below! 

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