Friday, August 28, 2009

Movie: A Month of Hungry Ghosts

We know the words "Hungry Ghost Festival" pretty well in Singapore. We know that there will be offerings - by the roadsides, outside the homes, with the communities, prayers & rituals, residental & business community dinners & auctions, and of course the ubiquitous GeTai. But do we really know what Hungry Ghost Festival or Zhong Yuan Jie is all about?

If you don't and want to know more, note these two dates

- Saturday 29 Aug 09 @ 7pm
- Sunday 30 Aug 09 @ 7pm

at a tentage next to Spring St, off South Bridge Road (going into Neil Rd), Chinatown, made possible with Sinema Mobile

I just came back from a sneak preview. We wanted the 'operator' to continue with the show as we were just warming up. It is primarily in English.

Bring along your children who will learn a thing or two about the Chinese culture. Bring along your Grandpa and Grandma who will be able to share more details with you, and perhaps, later with us? (^^)

There will be a "Meet the Director" session after the movie, where you can get to know more about how this movie was made.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Chinatown 7th Month (Hungry Ghost) Festival

Right in the heart of Chinatown, there will be a Hungry Ghost Festival from 29 Aug 09 to 1 Sep 09. As part of this year's festival, there will be two tours organised for tourists and local to better understand how Hungry Ghost Festival is observed in Singapore.

A traditional festival from China, from popular beliefs, the Hungry Ghost Festival is one where literally all hell breaks lose as the gates of hell will open to let out the 'hungry ghosts' to earth during the seventh lunar month, usually between August and September. To appease the wandering spirits the Chinese will offer prayers to the deceased, burn joss sticks, paper money and offer food. There will even be entertainment for the spirits during the festival. It is common to see street wayang (Chinese Opera) or getai (mini concerts) performances being held during this period. Generally held at night, it is believed that these loud affairs attract and entertain the spirits. After the celebrations are over, the ghosts will return back to where they come from after a month of 'merry-making'.

The Chinatown Business Association is also arranging for a movie entitled "A Month of Hungry Ghost" produced by Ms Genevieve Woo and directed by Mr. Tony Kern on 29 Aug 09 and 30 Aug 09. This will be held at the GeTai stage.

On both evenings, the programme is:

7.30pm: Viewing of the Hungry Ghost Exhibition
8.00pm: Screening of the Movie
9.30pm: Meet the Director

The Chinatown Business Association is also organising a guided tour on two days, 31 Aug and 1 Sept, to unravel the mysteries behind this "bizarre" festival.

Chinatown Hungry Ghost Festival Tour
31 Aug 09 (Mon) & 1 Sept 09 (Tue)
6.30 pm – 10pm

This is an in-depth guided tour of the Hungry Ghost Festival in Chinatown where one could get to:
: Watch the rituals
: Learn about the practices
: Experience a 7th month auction
: Catch the 'Ge Tai' in action

Tour itinerary on 31 August (Mon), Price at $30
- Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum
- Hungry Ghost Festival Site
- Prayer Walk
- Dinner at Food Street
- Ge Tai

Tour itinerary on 1 September (Tues), Price at $50
- Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum
- Hungry Ghost Festival Site
- Funeral Paraphernalia
- Ge Tai
- Dinner at Festival Site & Viewing of Auction

Tour Capacity
Minimum - 1 pax
Maximum - 50 pax

How to Book?
Contact the Chinatown Business Association (Jennifer or Jonel)
- Tel: 63720478
- Email: or
- Book by: 26 Aug 09

In conjunction with the Singapore Tourist Board's 2009 reasons to enjoy Singapore promotion, if you can give a password when booking, you get a 50% discount off the ticket price! Watch out for more tips if you cannot find the password. Like Newspaper ad on 20 Aug 2009 (^^)

Meeting Point
Main entrance of Buddha Tooth Relic Temple (facing South Bridge Road).
Registration opens at 5.30pm and closes at 6.15pm.

Ack: Pictures from Chinatown Business Association