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

1 comment:

The Malaysian Life said...

Nice post and pics. Singapore still got ghosts ?

You can read about Ghosts in Malaysia in this post, Ghosts Still Live Malaysia.