Lonely Planet Writer

Month-long Hungry Ghost Festival kicks off in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has begun a month-long celebration of its ancestors. The Hungry Ghost Festival takes place in the seventh lunar month, from 14 August to 12 September in 2015.

Ceremony to open the Gates of Heaven and Hell kicks off Hungry Ghost Festival. Image by Anthony Kwan / Getty, courtesy Hong Kong Tourism Board.
Ceremony to open the Gates of Heaven and Hell kicks off Hungry Ghost Festival. Image by Anthony Kwan / Getty, courtesy Hong Kong Tourism Board.

This traditional Chinese festival commemorates the time of year when spirits and ancestors roam freely and living relatives leave out food and offerings to satiate the ‘hungry’ spirits. Hong Kong’s Hungry Ghost Festival includes a month of traditional celebrations, including opera and drama performances, the burning of fake money for spirits to use in the afterlife and a special ceremony where elders burn incense to open the ‘gates of heaven and hell’ allowing spirits to run free. Read more: discoverhongkong.com