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Spirits roam during Hong Kong's ghost festival

HONG KONG (AP) -- Countless hungry and restless ghosts are roaming Hong Kong, and the world, to visit their living descendants, at least according to Chinese convention.

In traditional Chinese belief, the seventh month of the lunar year is reserved for the Hungry Ghost festival, or Yu Lan, a raucous celebration marked by feasts and music. This year the festival began Aug. 10. According to folklore, the ghosts who wander the physical world are ravenous and envious after dying without descendants or because they were not venerated by relatives who are still alive.

The hungry spirits need to be appeased, so ethnic Chinese around the world offer prayers to their deceased relatives along with sticks of joss, or incense. They also burn mock currency known as "hell money" and other paper copies of material wealth such as TV sets, mobile phones and even iPads and iPhones, which the ghosts use when they return to the underworld.

Neighborhoods hold nightly shows of shrill Chinese operas and pop concerts, with the front rows of seats always empty - reserved for the ghosts. The shows are accompanied by extravagant feasts of grilled pork, broiled chicken, rice and fruit. The offerings are made in the hope that the spirits will help them find good jobs, earn good grades or even with the lottery. The festival peaks on the 15th day of the lunar month - the most auspicious - when families offer cooked food to the ghosts.

Here's a gallery of images from this year's Hungry Ghost Festival by Hong Kong photographer Vincent Yu.

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1000|Char. 1000  Char.
NANCAN August 25 2014 at 7:53 AM

This is hardly "bizarre" - the Chinese are very, very superstitious people and this is only one of the many rituals they do on an annual basis.

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digi4098 August 25 2014 at 9:59 AM

John 14:6 - if anyone these days knows where to find it....

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2 replies
sealtheborder12 digi4098 August 25 2014 at 11:27 AM

Quotes from a 2000 year old book of made up and ripped off stories????? LOL!!!!!!!!!

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1 reply
onionson sealtheborder12 August 25 2014 at 2:09 PM

Long before the invention of the telescope and microscope man thought there were only 6000 stars and everything was made of the 4 elements fire, water, dirt, and air. The Bible said the stars are as countless as grains of sand on a beach and that all things are made of things not seen. Where were those stories ripped off from? There are many examples like this. BTW, half the book is at least 1000 years older.

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digi4098 digi4098 August 25 2014 at 11:36 AM

Actually it goes back a little farther than 2000 years - All you need to do is go back 2014 years ago tho ... It's what started Time as you know it... & is the only thing that can save you from the Dark you live in....Nash your Teeth on that... Hmmmmm - what was it ???

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Garland August 25 2014 at 8:26 AM

kinda like day of the dead.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
PERFORATOR August 25 2014 at 9:48 AM

Hong Kong got nothin' over on Ferguson Missouri where they hold the festival of Saint Michael of Swisher Sweets, which consists of rioting and looting in honor of a thug.

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jewel August 25 2014 at 8:16 AM

who cares????

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2 replies
katydid579 jewel August 25 2014 at 8:36 AM

It's a shame you weren't born with a sense of curiosity. The world is a pretty interesting place and you are missing out on so much simply because you are ignorant. That can be fixed.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Tina jewel August 25 2014 at 12:36 PM

I find reading about other cultures very interesting. People who only focus on themselves are boring.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
eric August 25 2014 at 8:49 AM

Sounds a lot like All Hallows Eve--AKA Halloween.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Denny August 25 2014 at 7:38 AM

They bark at the moon once in a while

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1 reply
katydid579 Denny August 25 2014 at 8:37 AM

No, I think your tribe does that.

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1 reply
erin katydid579 August 25 2014 at 1:36 PM

So, katy - are you in a foul mood today, or are you always so nasty? I have flagged both of your comments that I have read so far. Calling someone names and insulting them is very childish. If you don't have anything of substance to say, then keep it to yourself. I guarantee that you don't talk to people like this face to face.

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yayabeanes August 25 2014 at 1:31 PM

Die in China and get an IPhone...Who you going to call...Not Ghostbusters

Flag Reply +1 rate up
rkozlowskiny August 25 2014 at 10:43 AM

how many of you mental giants out there even visit your parents graves

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Don August 25 2014 at 10:46 AM

hope the whole country of asian pigs die

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
srsybert Don August 25 2014 at 12:00 PM

Why do you hate your fellow humans?

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