Penang’s Hungry Ghost Festival
Folklore claims that the gates of hell open during the seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar. A barrage of hungry ghosts and spirits roam the physical world in search of earthly delights, entertainment and – as you would have guessed - food. You’ll find makeshift altars built along roadsides with giant joss sticks burning and a bounty of local treats and dishes.
To appease these insatiable ghosts, the month-long festival includes a colourful array of religious activities, puppet shows and opera performance. Take a stroll at night and you’ll likely hear opera music in the air – performed in temporary venues. Follow your ears and you’ll be greeted with performers in elaborated costumes and make-up, and singing in high-pitched voices – all to entertain those demanding ghosts and spirits!
Images: iStock and Shutterstock