Zodiac   Love   Chart   Palm   Mole

2024 Chinese Ghost Festival, August 18, 2024

Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival on August 18, 2024
Chinese Ghost Month is from August 4, 2024 to September 2, 2024

Chinese Ghost Month and Festival

The Ghost Month is the seventh lunar month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar. The 15th lunar day of the 7th lunar month is the Chinese Ghost Festival. The Chinese formal name of the Ghost Festival is Chung-Yuan 中元. The first lunar day of the 7th lunar month is on August 4, 2024. August 18, 2024, is the 15th lunar day, which is the Chinese Ghost Festival. The first lunar day of the 8th lunar month is on September 3, 2024. Therefore, Ghost Month is from August 4 to September 2 in the China time zone.

Many Chinese families have both Buddhism and Taoism as their religions. The dead souls before reincantation are called ghosts. Most of them are jailed in hell. The folklore says the ghosts have one-month parole and will roam the towns in the 7th lunar month every year. People have better feasting on them. People are afraid that ghosts play trick-or-treat games. That is why the Chinese call the 7th lunar month "Ghost Month".

Buddha's Story and Ghost Festival

To feast on the ghosts is from a Buddhist story. Moggallana 目犍連 was one of Buddha Shakyamuni's best disciples. He had various supernormal powers with his divine eyes. One day, he saw his deceased mother had been born among hungry ghosts. He went down to hell and filled a bowl with food to provide for his mother. Before reaching his mother's mouth, the food turned into burning coals that couldn't be eaten. Moggallana cried sorrowfully and asked for help from Buddha. Buddha said the sins of his mother were deep and firmly rooted; they couldn't be forgiven just by only using divine power. It required the combined power of a thousand monks to get rid of her sins. The Buddha told Moggallana that, " the 15th day of the 7th lunar month is the Ullambana Day for the assembled monks of all directions. You should prepare an offering of clean basins full of hundreds of flavors and the five fruits, and other offerings of incense, oil, lamps, candles, etc. to the greatly virtuous assembled monks. Your present parents and the parents of seven generations will escape from suffering." Following Buddha's instructions, Moggallana's mother obtained liberation from suffering as a hungry ghost by receiving the power of merit and virtue from the awesome spiritual power of assembled monks on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month. Today, similar rituals are held in the Buddhist temples on this day for the deliverance of all suffering spirits.

Chinese Ghost Festival Altar and Offerings

Chinese Ghost Festival Altar
The altar of Chung-Yuan has different scales and designs

People at home prepare lots of food to worship the gods and pray for the spirits of their ancestors, and then treat the homeless ghosts. Some cities will spend weeks building a multi-story sacrificial altar. The Taoists will fast, take a bath, wear formal dress and perform the religious ceremony to pray for good luck for spirits on Chung-Yuan Day. The lighting decoration of the altar at night is the entertainment for ghosts. Certainly, Chinese parents will bring children there for sightseeing and to learn about the traditional culture.

Chinese Ghost Month Night Altar
The altar of Chinese Ghost Festival at night

The Dates of Chinese Festival

By Master Allen Tsai on November 11, 2023

Home   About   Contact   Disclaimer   Privacy   Sitemap

Copyright © 1999-2024 Chinese Fortune Calendar All Right Reserved.