Category Archives: Hungry Ghost Festival History

A Month of Hungry Ghosts

The Hungry Ghost Festival is Friday, August 28th.

If you would like to see how Hungry Ghost Month is observed in Singapore, check out the independent film, A Month of Hungry Ghosts.

The official website is here:

You can rent the movie from Amazon Prime Instant Video here:
A Month of Hungry Ghosts

A Month of Hungry Ghosts (2009) NR
Every year during the seventh lunar month, it is believed that the gates of hell are opened and all the souls are set free to wander the earth. During this time, the spirits try to fulfill their past desires. They are the "hungry ghosts."

    Baozhen Chen, Lama Thubten Namdrol Dorje 

    2 hours, 8 minutes

falling in love with joss paper (1)


Joss paper is burned in mass quantities during the observance of Ghost Month, resulting in large-scale emissions of smoke, ash and flue gas. In Singapore, for example, the first day of Ghost Month is jokingly referred to as National Pollution Day.

The volume of these emissions has led to the need for environmental regulations for religious ceremonies. It has even spawned a new industry for electronic and low-emission Joss paper burners.

I am coming to appreciate the exuberance with which Joss paper is burned during the Hungry Ghost Festival, and I find myself thinking about the Burning Man Festival. Some of us have a need to play with fire.  Actually, a lot of us do.

PS. Each piece of Joss paper is designed with meaning, purpose, and a prescribed use. We’ve found some helpful websites and have shared those links over here.